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ConflictsNorth Korea

North Korea accuses US of aggravating tensions

March 7, 2023

North Korea criticized the joint US-South Korean drills, for which the United States deployed a B-52. The long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber is capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

B-52H Stratofortress bomber
B-52 bombers are capable of carrying nuclear weaponsImage: Abaca/picture alliance

North Korea's foreign ministry accused the United States of "intentionally" ramping up tensions by flying in joint military drills with South Korea, state news agency KCNA said on Monday.

In a statement, the ministry accused the US of "aggravating" the situation, criticizing the recent joint air drill with a B-52 bomber.

"Despite our repeated warnings, the US intentionally continues to aggravate the situation," the North Korean foreign ministry said.

"The recent joint air drill... clearly shows that the US scheme to use nuclear weapons against the DPRK is being carried forward at the level of an actual war," it added.

North Korea said to be on brink of food crisis

US deploys B-52 bomber

Earlier on Monday, the United States deployed a B-52 bomber for a joint drill with its ally Seoul, in a show of force against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, South Korea's defense ministry said.

B-52 bombers are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The air drill came ahead of combined large-scale US-South Korean exercises including amphibious landings starting later this month.

As South Korea has lifted anti-COVID measures, the allies are returning to large-scale drills. South Korea and the United States will achieve "peace through strength" by stepping up joint drills, the ministry in Seoul said in a statement.

dh/jsi (AFP, Reuters)