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N. Korea condemns S. Korea for recent military drills

Posted May. 09, 2020 07:57,   

Updated May. 09, 2020 07:57


North Korea’s Ministry of People’s Armed Forces denounced South Korea for conducting military drills, calling it a violation of the Sept. 19 inter-Korean military agreement. Instead of offering an explanation or apology for the gunshots it fired toward a South Korean guard post five days ago, North Korea has cranked up the level of condemnation against South Korea.

A spokesperson for the North Korean military authorities issued a statement on the nation’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Friday and condemned recent military drills jointly conducted by South Korea’s Air Force and the Navy on Wednesday. The North Korean spokesperson described the joint drills as “going against the (inter-Korean) military agreement promised in front of the Korean people and an obvious act of treachery” as well as “the height of the military confrontation.”

“Everything is going back to square one before the 2018 inter-Korean summit,” the statement said. “We must respond with a necessary action,” suggesting it is considering a tit-for-tat action.

Listing the names of fighter jets, such as F-15K and the vessels that took part in the defensive drills, the North said, “It gave us the chance to realize once again and carve it deep into our minds that once an enemy is always an enemy.”

It has been seven years and two months since a spokesperson for the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces last issued a statement in March 2013. Against this backdrop, the South Korean government is taking note of the fact that the statement was not carried by the Korean Central News Agency but by the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, which is read by the North Korean people for ideological education.

“It is unlikely that the North will make an immediate provocation since the statement is not from the North’s top military organization, but we’re analyzing the intention of the statement,” said a South Korean government official.

Gi-Jae Han record@donga.com