In a week that has seen Kim Jong-un launch a salvo of banned ballistic missiles at Japan, the arrival of the first elements of a new advance U.S. Missile System and the planned deployment of a company of attack drones to South Korea, the Norths leader has threatened to unleash a “merciless” attack on America if annual joint military exercises with South Korea continue.
The Government propaganda agency, KCNA, said that the somewhat off balance dictator of the North had becoming increasingly agitated by the joint military drills south of the border. They said in a statement that was attributed to Kim: “If they infringe on the DPRK’s sovereignty and dignity even a bit, its army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea and underwater.”
Kim Jong-Un’s latest threat came even as an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson joined South Korean military forces for scheduled exercises. For years, North Korea, has alarmed its neighbors with threats of attacks, but recently the verboseness took on an ominous tone when Kim conducted two nuclear tests and a string of missile launches. Kim has denounced the arrival of the US strike group as part of a “reckless scheme” designed to catch the North off guard and attack it.
But a US Navy spokesman said the Carl Vinson was on a regular, scheduled deployment to the region during which it would take part in exercises with the forces of ally South Korea. Kim has been under increasing pressure from nations around the would for violating United Nations orders to stop testing atomic weapons and ballistic missiles. But Kim responded to the pressure by launching four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan. A move that has lead to the deployment of the new THAAD anti-missile system.
In addition, the death of Kim’s half brother in Malaysia, an incident which Malaysian authorities have called an assassination, has added to a sense of urgency to efforts to contain North Korea.