North Korea on Friday warned that the controversial joint military exercises of South Korea and the US, which are scheduled to start next week, could bring a catastrophe to the security in the region.
The annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises, which will start on August 21, would “further drive the situation on the Korean Peninsula into a catastrophe”, according to a brief statement released by the North Korean state agency KCNA.
Every year in August, the South Korean and US forces jointly hold military exercises which include the world’s largest computer-simulated war games and involve several thousand troops from both countries, reports Efe news.
The exercises, which last 12 days, seek to coordinate a response to a possible invasion by North Korea.
Despite the defensive nature of the maneuvers, North Korea still criticises the operation every year and considers them as preparations for an attack of Pyongyang.
The statement came after a heated exchange of threats with Washington earlier last week.
North Korea threatened to attack the US in retaliation to the sanctions imposed by the United Nations over its missile tests, to which US President Donald Trump responded with an unusually fierce tone.
North Korea then detailed a plan to carry out a missile attack near to Guam Island, where major US military bases are located, but later said it would observe the situation a little more before undertaking the offensive.
In another statement released by KCNA, the Kim Jong-un regime criticised South Korean President Moon Jae-in, saying that the speech he made on Tuesday, in which he stressed the commitment of the South Korean government to avoid war “at all costs”, is pure “sophistry”.
The statement added that Moon is tightening his relations with Washington and urged him to seek peace in the region by taking a stance against the US.
The statement, however, did not mention the proposal for a dialogue the South Korean President made in July, which Pyongyang has so far ignored.