North Korea yesterday issued a fresh warning of an “all-out war,” urging the US to stop military drills and what it described as “nuclear blackmail.”
In a thinly veiled threat to strike the US, the National Defence Commission (NDC), chaired by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, said the US government must withdraw its policy of hostility against the North if it wants peace on both the Korean Peninsula and the “US mainland.”
“[The US] must bear it in mind that reckless provocative acts would meet our retaliatory strikes and lead to an all-out war of justice for a final showdown with the United States,” a spokesman of the NDC was quoted as saying in a statement carried by Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency.
“We emphasize again that the United States must withdraw various measures aimed to isolate and strangulate us. Dependent upon this are ... peace and security, not only the Korean Peninsula, but the US mainland as well,” the statement said.
The comments come after a two-day joint naval drill between Japan, South Korea and the US, which included a US nuclear aircraft carrier, sparked a series of angry responses and threats from Pyongyang.
On Friday the North slammed a naval drill by US, South Korean and Japanese warships as a “serious military provocation” and vowed to “bury in the sea” the US carrier taking part in the exercise.
The latest bellicose statement from the NDC demanded that the US lift sanctions against the North, stop the “constant nuclear blackmails” and various war drills.
It rejected as “intolerable contempt” a US demand that it should show tangible commitment towards abandoning its nuclear programs if it wants substantive talks with the US.
“The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is an inalterable policy goal of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] government,” it said, but added that getting rid of such weapons should also include a total removal of US nuclear threats against the North.
The US and South Korea have long demanded that Pyongyang show tangible commitment to ending its nuclear weapons program before the six-party talks, which have been stalled for several years, can resume.
The North has said for years it wants denuclearization of the whole Korean Peninsula and that it is developing a nuclear arsenal to protect itself from the US military.