In the face of ongoing U.S.-South Korean military drills, North Korea once again has threatened an “all-out war” against the United States and South Korea.
In his capacity as chairman of the National Defense Commission, or NDC, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un today threatened the Korean peninsula and the “U.S. mainland” if the U.S. didn’t withdraw its “policy of hostility” against the North as a result of the ongoing joint military maneuvers.
“The (United States) must bear it in mind that reckless provocative acts would meet our retaliatory strikes and lead to an all-out war of justice for a final showdown with the United States,” an NDC spokesman said.
“We emphasize again that the United States must withdraw various measures aimed to isolate and strangulate us,” the spokesman said. “Dependent upon this are peace and security, not only on the Korean peninsula but the U.S. mainland as well.”
North Korea’s latest threats against the U.S. mainland renews similar threats it made last April when the U.S. and South Korea undertook similar military maneuvers, with the U.S. flying B-2s and B-52s to bombing sites just a few miles from the border between North and South Korea.
It led Pyongyang to claim the U.S. intended to launch a nuclear war against North Korea, prompting the U.S. to transfer naval ships armed with Aegis anti-ballistic missile systems into the area.
North Korea apparently reacted with such bellicose rhetoric that it caught the Obama administration off guard, sources say.
The latest North Korean outburst follows a two-day naval drill involving Japan, South Korea and the U.S., which included an American nuclear aircraft carrier. As before, this prompted threats from Pyongyang.
Calling the drills a “serious military provocation,” North Korea threated to “bury in the sea” the U.S. carrier involved in the exercise.
Pyongyang demanded the U.S. lift sanctions against the North and halt the “constant nuclear blackmails” and military drills.
It called as “intolerable contempt” a U.S. demand that North Korea first show a tangible commitment of abandoning its nuclear program if it wanted talks with the U.S.
“The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is an unalterable policy goal of the DPRK government,” the NDC statement said. However, it qualified the statement with a demand for total removal of all U.S. nuclear threats against the North.
While Pyongyang has claimed to want a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, it said it is developing nuclear weapons to protect the country from the U.S. military which has nuclear weapons present near the Korean peninsula.
Last February, North Korea carried out its third underground nuclear test, despite United Nations Security Council resolutions. That prompted an immediate increase in tensions, raising concern of a potential conflict.
Sanctions against North Korea had earned wide approval, even from China, which has, historically, been the Hermit Kingdom’s closest ally. Sources say China’s position resulted from months of frustration caused by Beijing trying to get North Korea to halt its missile- and nuclear-weapons testing.
Sources add Kim Jong-un has been going against the tradition of his father, Kim Jong-il, and his father before him, Kim Il-sung, the father of North Korea, to work closely with Beijing.
Last December, North Korea also had launched a three-stage missile which U.S. intelligence sources say could reach the U.S. mainland.
It was after the February nuclear test Pyongyang began to release videos and issue threats of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the U.S.
“The situation goes to prove that the U.S. and the puppet group’s war moves against the DPRK have reached the reckless military phase of practical implementation beyond the phase of threat and blackmail,” according to Secretariat of the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.
“The war drills show that the U.S.-Japan-South Korea tripartite military alliance has developed into the nuclear-war alliance and has become operational in actuality,” the statement said.
F. Michael Maloof, senior staff writer for the WND/ G2Bulletin, is a former security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He can be contacted at [email protected].