North Korea says U.S. threats make war unavoidable on Korean peninsula: KCNA

UNTV News   •   December 7, 2017   •   4926

U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets take part in a joint aerial drill exercise called ‘Vigilant Ace’ between U.S. and South Korea, at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) – Large military drills being carried out by the United States and South Korea and U.S. threats of a preemptive war against Pyongyang have made the outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula “an established fact”, North Korea’s foreign ministry said.

A spokesman for the North’s foreign ministry also blamed “confrontational warmongering” remarks by U.S. officials for pushing the peninsula to the brink of war.

“The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?” the spokesman said late on Wednesday in a statement carried by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency.

“We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it,” he said.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen markedly in recent months after North Korea’s latest missile and nuclear tests, conducted in defiance of international pressure and United Nations resolutions.

North Korea said last week it had tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile yet, which was capable of reaching the United States.

White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at the weekend the possibility of war with North Korea was “increasing every day”.

U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also urged the Pentagon on Sunday to start moving U.S. military dependants, such as spouses and children, out of South Korea, saying conflict with North Korea was getting close.

On Wednesday, a U.S. B-1B bomber joined the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which are called “Vigilant Ace” and will run until Friday.

North Korea, which regularly threatens South Korea, the United States and their allies, has denounced the exercises.

“Recently, as the U.S. is conducting the largest-ever joint aerial drill on the Korean peninsula targeting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, its high-level politicians are showing alarming signs by making bellicose remarks one after another,” the North’s foreign ministry spokesman said, using North Korea’s official name.

“These confrontational war-mongering remarks cannot be interpreted in any other way but as a warning to us to be prepared for a war on the Korean peninsula,” he said.

The rising tensions coincide with a rare visit to the isolated North by United Nations political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman this week, the highest-level U.N. official to visit North Korea since 2012.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk met Feltman in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, on Wednesday and discussed bilateral cooperation and other issues of mutual interest, KCNA said.

Reporting by Soyoung Kim in Seoul; Editing by James Dalgleish and Paul Tait

Pyongyang disinfects the city after North Korea introduced tougher curbs against coronavirus

UNTV News   •   July 29, 2020

North Korea’s state-run television on Tuesday (July 28) released a video of Pyongyang workers disinfecting the city as the state introduced tougher curbs against the coronavirus, after it locked down the town Kaesong, on the border with the South, to tackle what could be its first publicly confirmed infection.

Strict quarantine measures and the screening of districts were in progress and test kits, protective clothing and medical equipment were being supplied, the North’s KCNA state news agency said.

The measures come after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency on Sunday (July 26) after a person who defected to South Korea three years ago returned across the highly fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ) to Kaesong this month with symptoms of COVID-19, KCNA reported.

Reclusive North Korea had reported testing 1,211 people for the virus as of July 16 with all returning negative results, the World Health Organisation said in a statement sent to Reuters. The report said 696 nationals were under quarantine. (Reuters)

(Production: Minwoo Park)

North Korea suspends military action plans against South Korea – KCNA

UNTV News   •   June 24, 2020

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has presided over a meeting of the ruling party’s Central Military Commission and decided to suspend military action plans against South Korea, the official KCNA news agency reported on Wednesday (June 24).

The video conference meeting on Tuesday (June 23) also discussed documents outlining measures for “further bolstering the war deterrent of the country,” KCNA reported.

The committee members “took stock of the prevailing situation” before deciding to suspend the military plans, the report said, without elaborating.

Political tensions between the rival Koreas have been rising over Pyongyang’s objections to plans by defector-led groups in the South to fly propaganda leaflets over to the North. (Reuters)

(Production: Chaeyoun Won, Hyunyoung Yi)

North Korea rejects South’s offer of envoys, vows to redeploy troops to border

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2020

A view of an explosion of a joint liaison office with South Korea in border town Kaesong.

North Korea said on Wednesday (June 17) it had rejected South Korea’s offer to send special envoys to ease escalating bilateral tensions, and vowed to redeploy troops to demilitarized border units in the latest step towards nullifying inter-Korean peace accords.

The announcements made by state media agency KCNA came one day after North Korea blew up a joint liaison office set up in a border town as part of a 2018 agreement by the two countries’ leaders, as tensions flare over propaganda leaflets sent by defectors into the reclusive state.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on Monday (June 15) offered to send his national security adviser Chung Eui-yong and spy chief Suh Hoon as special envoys. But Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a senior ruling party official, “flatly rejected the tactless and sinister proposal,” KCNA said.

In a separate KCNA dispatch on Wednesday, a spokesman for the General Staff of the (North) Korean People’s Army (KPA) said it would dispatch troops to Mount Kumgang and Kaesong near the border, where the two Koreas had carried out joint economic projects in the past. (Reuters)

(Production: Dogyun Kim, Chaeyoun Won, Minwoo Park)

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