North Korea warns of strong 'counteractions' over US, South Korea joint military drills

North Korea on Friday denounced planned US and South Korea joint military exercises, warning that they would face “unprecedentedly persistent and strong counteractions."

The Foreign Ministry in a statement also criticized the UN Security Council, urging it to play its role in international peace and security rather than becoming a “tool for the U.S. illegal hostile policy toward the DPRK."

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is the official name of North Korea.

"We give a serious warning and strongly denounce the fact that the UNSC put the just right to self-defense of a sovereign state only on the table of its discussion in favor of the U.S., oblivious of its main principle for justice and impartiality," the statement said.

North Korea's latest warning came after a meeting earlier this month in Seoul between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-sup, during which the two sides agreed to bolster the level and scale of this year's combined military exercises and training.

Washington and Seoul also agreed to collaborate closely in the future to ensure that US strategic assets are deployed in a timely and coordinated manner.

"If the UNSC continues to be inveigled by the U.S. as the latter wishes, the DPRK will be compelled to reconsider measures for additional actions, to say nothing of the category of normal military activities, in protest against the UNSC which is being reduced into a tool for the U.S. unilateral pressure on the DPRK," the Foreign Ministry said.

"If it is the U.S. option to show its muscle and counter everything with muscle, the same is true of the DPRK's option," the ministry warned.

Tensions on Korean Peninsula escalated late last year when North Korea launched at least 60 missiles while South Korea and the US held joint military exercises.

The US and South Korea will also hold drills called the Deterrence Strategy Committee Tabletop Exercise on Feb. 22 in Washington, in which senior defense policymakers from both countries will participate.

Source: AA

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