A few days after the US and South Korea launched a joint air drill, a North Korean Foreign Ministry official issued a fierce statement on behalf of the deputy minister. “The large-scale drills that the US is conducting with the South Korean military and the American threats of a preemptive strike against Pyongyang make war on the Korean Peninsula unavoidable,” he warned.
North Korean soldiers Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
In a sharp statement issued Thursday morning, the North Korean deputy foreign minister warned that the outbreak of war with the US is unavoidable, adding that Pyongyang will make “the US will pay dearly.”
The statement was released by the deputy minister’s spokesperson via the state news agency KCNA. “The large-scale drills that the US is conducting with the South Korean military and the American threats of a preemptive strike against Pyongyang make war on the Korean Peninsula unavoidable,” the statement read. The warning was most likely a response to the major US-South Korean air drill that began earlier this week.
“The only question left is when the war will break out,” the official stressed. “We are not hoping for a war but we are also not hiding from one. The Americans shouldn’t misinterpret our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war. We will certainly make the United States pay dearly using our great nuclear power.”
Earlier this week, JOL reported that the US and South Korean militaries launched a large-scale joint air drill dubbed Vigilant Ace. The drill began less than a week after Pyongyang’s latest missile launch, which reportedly demonstrated an unprecedented breakthrough in its ballistic missile capability.
The annual drill will include a total of 230 aircraft that will operate from various locations. North Korea has warned against the pre-planned air drill, saying it could lead to a nuclear war. Seoul’s Defense Ministry spokesman said during a press conference that the drill was designed to enhance the wartime operational cooperation between the two allies.