North Korea Lashes Out Over “Hostile” US-South Joint War Drills
So much for this summer’s attempts at a communications reset geared towards “recovering trust”…
“North Korea did not answer routine calls on inter-Korean hotlines on Tuesday, South Korea said, hours after a senior official in Pyongyang warned the South and the United States over annual joint military drills set to begin this week,” Reuters reports.
This after the powerful sister of Kim Jung Un blasted the annual drills as imminently destructive of attempts to restore dialogue with the South. Kim Yo Jong said in an August 1st statement warning against holding the drills: “For some days I have been hearing an unpleasant story that joint military exercises between the South Korean army and the U.S. forces could go ahead as scheduled.” The drills have now kicked off.
“I view this as an undesirable prelude which seriously undermines the will of the top leaders of the North and the South wishing to see a step taken toward restoring mutual trust and which further beclouds the way ahead of the North-South relations,” she continued at the time.
“Our government and army will closely follow whether the South Korean side stages hostile war exercises in August or makes other bold decision,” she said.
The Hill notes that today’s refusal of Pyongyang to pick up the phone is meant as a glaring message:
North and South Korea have routinely checked in over the hotlines managed by the unification ministry and South Korea’s military two times a day, according to Reuters. While morning calls between the two went as usual, the North reportedly did not answer calls made in the afternoon.
Footage from the drills this week…
US-South Korea preliminary ‘live’ drills have kicked off as of Tuesday, with computer simulated drills continuing into next week.
Washington has called the drills purely “defensive” in nature – this following in prior years the Pentagon scaling them back due to the coronavirus pandemic and also hopes at denuclearization talks on the peninsula proceeding.
Tue, 08/10/2021 – 19:45