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US Drills Raise Concerns In North Korea

Joint military exercises between the US and South Korea have raised a stern reaction in Pyongyang. Yesterday’s aerial drills, which included American bombers and fighter jets, occurred over South Korea and triggered an official response from North Korea. According to Reuters, the official response stated that the situation on the peninsula is just getting worse, as the US and its allies aggravate it with severe hostile maneuvers.


Meanwhile, the spokesperson for South Korea’s defense ministry, Jeon Ha Gyu, explains the move as a reaffirmation of American military support for South Korea. This goes in line with the statements made by Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, two days ago. According to them, the US had to confront “an unprecedented number of provocations” from North Korea, said Austin in a joint press briefing with South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup. Austin also added that the US is not backing away from the extended deterrence commitment, which involves applying every tool in the US defense arsenal - from missiles to nuclear weapons.

As per Al Jazeera's reports, North Korea has a similar response, showing full readiness to resort to the “most overwhelming nuclear force” if necessary. From Pyongyang’s perspective, the degree of necessity appears to be defined by the extent of American military advancement on the Korean peninsula. Although the White House emphasizes a lack of malicious intent, stating exercises being a routine practice, North Korean authorities reject the negotiating table as long as Washington continues implementing “hostile policies”.

At the moment, American troops in the amount of 28,500 people are present in South Korea as a result of the Korean War, which dates back to the 1950s. Austin’s visit to Seoul brought promises of increasing the levels of American military deployment as a counterweight to North Korean development of weapons.

On the same day when the drills took place, the foreign minister of South Korea, Park Jin, went on a 4-day trip to the US where he met the UN Secretary-General and intends to speak with Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State.

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Tags: #usa #northkorea #southkorea


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