North Korea’s foreign
ministry has called on the United Nations to demand an
immediate halt to combined military drills by the United States
and South Korea, saying they were raising tensions that threaten
to spiral out of control.
The drills and rhetoric from the allies are “irresponsibly
raising the level of confrontation,” Kim Son Gyong, vice foreign
minister for international organisations, said in a statement
carried by state news agency KCNA on Saturday.
The United States and South Korea will conduct more than 10
days of large-scale military exercises in March, including
amphibious landings, officials from the two countries said on
The United States and South Korea say the exercises are in
self-defence and are necessary to counter the rising threats
from North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons
programmes, which are banned by United Nations Security Council
North Korea on Saturday blamed the United States for what it said was the collapse of international arms control systems and said Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons were a just response to ensure the balance of power in the region.
The allies also conducted a combined air drill with an
American long-range bomber and South Korean fighter aircraft on
Friday, and have been staging weeks of exercises for special
“The UN and the international community will have to
strongly urge the US and South Korea to immediately halt their
provocative remarks and joint military exercises,” Kim said.
It is regrettable that the UN has been consistently silent
on the exercises, which have a “clear aggressive nature,” he
Last month Kim issued a statement saying UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been “extremely unfair,
unbalanced” on North Korea’s missile tests.