PressTV – 2010-11-26 18:02:18
‘Korean Peninsula inching towards War’â€Ž
TEHERAN (November 26, 2010) — North Korea has slammed the US-South Korea’s military exercises, saying the drills could push the Korean Peninsula to a state of war. “The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war due to the reckless plan of those trigger-happy elements to stage again war exercises targeted against the (North),” said the North’s official news agency, KCNA.
The United States and South Korea are going to start the drills on Sunday.
The comments came ahead of a planned visit on Friday by Gen. Walter Sharp, the US military commander in South Korea, to the island targeted by the North Korean attack.
The exercises will continue with the USS George Washington and four other Navy ships heading to the Yellow Sea, west of the Korean Peninsula, to begin joint exercises with South Korea on Sunday.
Due to more US military presence in the area, North Korean authorities decided to boost their forces and send advanced weaponry to the maritime border and warned that the joint war games are considered as” provocations” and could bring about their severe “retaliation.”
Harsh criticisms from both the public and the opposition parties in South Korea to the government and military’s soft response to the northern neighbor’s shelling attack led to the resignation of the South Korean defense minister on Thursday.
Korean Conflict Termed ‘US Provocation’
TEHERAN (November 25, 2010) — Tensions are running high in the Korean Peninsula as the North threatens further attacks to counter what it has described as South Korea’s provocations.
“(North Korea) will wage second and even third rounds of attacks without any hesitation if warmongers in South Korea make reckless military provocations again,” Reuters reported, quoting a statement by Pyongyang’s military read by North Korean KCNA on Thursday.
A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the South carried out live-fire exercises in areas near the West Sea island of Yeonpyeong at 1300 hours local time Tuesday, the North’s official news agency reported.
“Yeonpyeong Islet is located deep inside the territorial waters of the DPRK away from the maritime military demarcation line. If live shells are fired from the islet, they are bound to drop inside the territorial waters of the DPRK side no matter in which direction they are fired because of such geographical features.”
Pyongyang has also blamed the US for provoking the artillery exchange between the two sides that left two South Korean marines and two civilians dead.
It has also criticized Washington’s role in drawing â€œthe illegalâ€ sea border in the Yellow Sea, in the aftermath of the 1950-53 Korean War.
“The West Sea of Korea (Yellow Sea) has become a flashpoint where the risk of confrontation and clashes between the North and the South is persistent just because the US unilaterally drew the illegal Northern Limit Line,” noted the statement.
“The US can never evade responsibility for the recent exchange of fire,” it said.
Pyongyang maintains that the deadly artillery exchange with South Korea came after Seoul’s failure to call off a military exercise in disputed waters.
The US and South Korea have announced a joint naval exercise in the region. American aircraft carrier USS George Washington has left Japan and is heading to South Korea.
South Korea also said Thursday that it would “sharply increase military forces, including ground troops, on the five islands in the Yellow Sea and allocate more of its budget toward dealing with North Korea’s asymmetrical threats.”
US President Barack Obama has pledged to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the South Korean ally, where 28,500 American troops are stationed.
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