In the face of international criticism for the multiple launches of four ballistic missiles over the weekend, North Korea has once again threatened the United States, South Korea and Japan with all-out war. This is nothing new, the North has been threatening an attack against the allies for years, but this time may be different. Bolstered by the successful tests of both atomic weapons and long range ballistic missiles while faced with new dissension within the military following the assassination of his brother, the “Beloved Leader” may finally have to back up his words with actions.
Many believe that this round of tests were much more serious than those in previous years, because they were, by Pyongyang’s own admission, aimed at conducting a “preemptive nuclear attack” against U.S. Bases in Japan. Even a North Korean diplomat, Ju Yong Choi, has told the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva that the annual drills were “a major cause of escalation of tension that might turn into actual war” on the divided Korean peninsula.
Speaking about the annual U.S.-South Korea military training exercises, he said: “The ongoing joint military exercise is carried out with massive mobilization of troops, unprecedented in size, and various types of U.S. strategic forces including nuclear carriers, nuclear strategic bombers and Stealth fighters. It will certainly jeopardize peace and stability in the region and drive the situation in the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.”
In the past, North Korea has always been able to count on it’s biggest defender, China for some degree of protection. But this time North Korea’s main ally China, also condemned North Korea’s test-firing of four ballistic missiles on Monday all of which fell into the sea just west of Japan’s protected airspace. The U.S. Disarmament Ambassador, Robert Wood, issued a strong condemnation of the tests and labeled them the latest violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a treat to peace. Wood added Pyongyang’s weapons program represented a “clear threat to the national security of every country of the region.”
Wood told the assembled group that The United States had an “iron-clad commitment to defend its allies” and the joint military exercises carried out with Seoul for more than 40 years were “transparent and defense-oriented”. He then rebuked the North saying that: “It should be very clear to the DPRK that it is a pariah, it is an outlier, it is in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, and that the countries represented in this room are not going to stand by and just let the DPRK violate international law.”
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