N. Korea orders military on war posture over planned naval drills
The North Korean Army has ordered all of its troops to be on a war posture against the U.S.-led drills on the Korean peninsula.
The North Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday that the General Staff of the Korean People's Army protested against the deployment of the USS George Washington for the joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan.
It added that the U.S. would be responsible for any horrible disasters that may arise.
A spokesman for the army chief argued that, if the U.S. truly wanted to see the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, it should be Washington not Pyongyang that should prove its determination.
This move is in line with an escalation in criticism of the South in recent weeks.
Over the weekend, the North Korean Rodong Sinmun newspaper referred to President Park Geun-hye as the "ruler of a puppet government" that praises its past authoritarian rule.
And the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, which deals with unification issues, said that the Park administration has been fueling conflict in the region by disrespecting Pyongyang.
Last week, the Committee threatened a "pre-emptive strike" against any military provocations from South Korea and the U.S., after the two allies endorsed a deterrence strategy to fight against potential North Korean nuclear and missile threats.
Local experts in Seoul say that the recent escalation in rhetoric is a sign that Pyongyang wants Seoul to change how it deals with the North.
Yang Moo-jin, professor of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told the Hankyoreh newspaper that relations between the two Koreas are not likely to improve anytime soon unless the Park administration changes its hard-line stance on issues related to the North.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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