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ConflictsNorth Korea

North Korea accuses US, South of pushing for 'nuclear war'

April 6, 2023

An outlet known to be a Pyongyang mouthpiece said the joint military drills currently ongoing are escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has recently pumped up its missile firing activities.

South Korean and US military vehicles are seen at a military training field in the border city of Yeoncheon on March 13, 2023.
North Korea has condemned the US, South Korea joint military drills as a provocationImage: Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea on Thursday accused the US and South Korea of pushing the Korean Peninsula to the brink of nuclear war, as Seoul and Washington hold joint military drills.

A commentary released on state media KCNA, a mouthpiece for Pyongyang, said the drills were escalating tensions.

Choe Ju Hyon, the author of the commentary whom KCNA identified as an "international security analyst," described the drills as "a trigger for driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the point of explosion."

He warned of "offensive action" from North Korea in response.

"The reckless military confrontational hysteria of the US and its followers against the DPRK [North Korea] is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to an irreversible catastrophe... to the brink of a nuclear war," the commentary read.

Rising tensions on the peninsula

The US and South Korea kicked off in March a series of annual springtime drills, including their first large-scale amphibious landing drills in five years. North Korea has vehemently rejected the exercises, describing them as a rehearsal for invasion.

"The drills have turned the Korean peninsula into a huge powder magazine which can be detonated any moment," Thursday's commentary read.

The exercises come amid an exponential rise in North Korean missile firing activities, after a yearslong lull.

In 2022, Pyongyang fired more than 70 missiles. This year, North Korea has fired at least 20 ballistic and cruise missiles over 10 different launch events.

rmt/rc (dpa, Reuters)