North Korea warns of ‘serious security crisis’ – North Korea warns the United States and South Korea of risking a “serious security crisis” by choosing to escalate tensions as the two allies gear up to conduct joint military drills on the troubled Korean Peninsula.
Kim Yong-chol, a general and a leading politician, in a statement carried by Pyongyang’s official news agency KCNA on Wednesday, censured what he called “hostile acts” by Washington and Seoul in responding to Pyongyang’s gesture of goodwill.
Kim, who also heads the United Front Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea, said North Korea would make the two countries “realize by the minute what a dangerous choice they made and what a serious security crisis they will face because of their wrong choice.”
He also singled out Seoul for missing an opportunity to improve inter-Korean relations.
South Korea must “clearly understand how dearly they have to pay” for choosing their alliance with Washington over peace between the two Koreas, the official said.
Meanwhile, Kim Yo-jong, an influential figure on the North’s political stage, and the sister of leader Kim Jong-un, has warned the US and South Korea over the war games. The figure says “a dear price should be paid” by the two allies for their “self-destructive behavior.”
Separately, South Korea said on Wednesday that the North had not answered routine calls on inter-Korean hotlines for the second day in a row. The hotlines were only reconnected at the end of July – more than a year after North Korea severed lines amid rising tensions.
The disconnect followed a series of unfriendly statements from Pyongyang in the wake of a four-day preliminary training by the South and the US in the run-up to their main combined exercise set to kick off next week.
The North says the joint spring and summer drills are indeed a rehearsal for an invasion in a likely future war.
Seoul and Washington had previously scaled back the war games significantly to facilitate nuclear talks with Pyongyang.
Three rounds of talks were held between former US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader, but the diplomatic push failed to deliver any breakthrough as Trump refused to reciprocate Pyongyang’s denuclearization steps by easing the sanctions. That prompted the North Korean leader to end the moratorium on North Korea’s missile tests.