In response to the United States and South Korea’s escalating joint military exercises to fight the North’s burgeoning nuclear weapons ambitions, North Korea warned of the “toughest reaction,” saying the allies were pushing tensions to an “extreme red line.”
In response to remarks made by the United States, Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry released a statement.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated in Seoul on Tuesday that when combined operations and training plans between the US and South Korea are strengthened, the US will boost the deployment of fighter jets and aircraft carriers to the Korean Peninsula.
According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, the United States conducted a joint exercise with South Korean fighters over South Korea’s western waters on Wednesday, using B-1B bombers and F-22 and F-35 fighter jets as their most recent display of power.
This month, the United States and South Korea also intend to conduct a simulated exercise to practice their response if North Korea employs nuclear weapons.
The Korean Peninsula is at risk of becoming a “huge war arsenal and a more critical war zone,” according to a statement from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry attributed to an unnamed spokesperson.
The North said it is prepared to respond to any short- or long-term military challenge by the allies with the “most overwhelming force possible.
The spokeswoman added that the aggressive military confrontational maneuvers and hostile acts of the U.S. and its vassal forces had caused the military and political situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region to reach an extraordinary red line.
Although the allies have characterized such drills as defensive, North Korea has for decades claimed that joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea are practice for an impending invasion.
While the allies restarted their extensive training that had been scaled back for years, North Korea increased its weapon demonstrations last year.
Several missile and artillery launches by North Korea were described as “simulated nuclear assaults” against South Korea and the United States targets.