If Washington does not cancel its planned military exercises with South Korea, North Korea has issued new nuclear threats and says it is ready to use its latest weapons, which "are unknown to the world." The drills, called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, are due to start Monday are designed to "protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula." However, as expected Pyongyang is not happy, "If [the] United States wants their mainland to be safe," said state TV, "then the Ulchi Freedom Guardian should stop immediately."
The US-led exercises involve South Korea, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, New Zealand and the UK, due to take place Monday, have become an annual event for the US, South Korea and other allies, a fact that has often irked North Korea. As RT reports,
As has been the case in the past, Pyongyang has shown its displeasure, but the rhetoric coming out of the secretive nation has been stronger than in previous years.
"The army and people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are no longer what they used to be in the past when they had to counter the US nukes with rifles," a spokesman for North Korea’s National Defense Commission (NDC) said.
The spokesman added that “North Korea… is the invincible power equipped with both [the] latest offensive and defensive means unknown to the world.”
"The further Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military exercises are intensified, the strongest military counteraction the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] will take to cope with them," he added.
"If [the] United States wants their mainland to be safe," said a newswoman for the state TV station, KCNA, "then the Ulchi Freedom Guardian should stop immediately."
Washington has brushed aside the comments coming out of Pyongyang, with a former US Army general, who had previously taken part in the Ulchi drills saying that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is just seeking attention from the international community.
"One of the key propaganda goals of the young leader is to just get on the radar of the US," said retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who was speaking to CNN.
"With all the other things we're focused on -- ISIS, al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Russia and Ukraine, etc., Kim Jong Un wants to ensure he grabs attention."