North Korea warns of ‘dark clouds of WAR’ if USA carry out post-Olympics drills with South
NORTH Korea has warned US President Donald Trump of a “dark cloud of war” and it will “counter” the United States plans for joint military drills with South Korea as the hermit state steps up fears of World War 3.
The secretive state unleashed its fury against Mr Trump and accused the USA of aiming to “aggravate the situation on the Korean peninsula at any cost”.
A warning, pumped out by the communist state’s propaganda machine, said the joint drills was America’s way to “to bring dark clouds of a war to hang over the Korean Peninsula”.
Pyongyang’s mouthpiece Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said: “If the US finally holds joint military exercises while keeping sanctions on the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], the DPRK will counter the US by its own mode of counteraction and the US will be made to own all responsibilities for the ensuing consequences.
“The US should clearly understand this and exercise prudence.”
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have eased since last year resulting in inter-Korean talks and the North sending a high-level delegation led by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong Un, and athletes to the Winter Olympic.
The warning comes after Seoul and Washington said they will go ahead with already postponed regular joint military exercise after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics being hosted in South Korea, which ends on March 18.
After the decision to delay the joint exercise, North Korea agreed to hold the first official talks with South Korea in more than two years and send athletes to the Winter Games, easing a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes.
But South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon has now said talks to stage the postponed military drill were moving forward.
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman was quoted by state media KCNA news agency as saying “we will neither beg for dialogue nor evade the military option claimed by the US”.
The spokesman said: “Whether peace desired by our nation and the rest of the world settles on the Korean peninsula or a situation that no one desires is developed in the vicious cycle of confrontation depends entirely on the attitude of the US.”
Tensions have escalated on the peninsula after the US announced it was imposing its largest package of sanctions aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programmes.
In announcing the sanctions, Mr Trump warned of a “phase two” that could be “very, very unfortunate for the world” if the sanctions did not work.
North Korea criticised the new sanctions in a statement carried on its state media and said a blockade by the US would be considered an act of war.
China also reacted angrily to the new US measures, saying the unilateral targeting of Chinese firms and people risked harming cooperation on North Korea.
The White House said any talks with North Korea must lead to an end of its nuclear programme.
South Korea plans to send a special envoy to North Korea in response to an invitation from crackpot leader Kim Jong-un, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told Trump in a phone call on Thursday.
The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang last month gave a boost to recent engagement between the two Koreas after sharply rising tensions over the North’s missile programme.