February 3, 2014
North Korea is stepping up pressure on the US and South Korea to cancel a major military exercise due to begin next month, with a senior official warning that the drills will push the peninsula “to the brink of war”.
Hyon Hak Bong, Pyongyang’s ambassador to London, told the Financial Times that the military exercises would gravely damage the North’s recent calls for improved ties with the South. He suggested they would also jeopardise the reunions of families divided by the border, to which Pyongyang agreed in principle earlier this month.
“We gave South Korea an opportunity – if they lose this chance they will be strongly mistaken,” Mr Hyon said. “If the exercises go ahead it will make the situation tense and bring the situation to the brink of war.”
Last year’s spring exercises, involving thousands of troops, prompted Pyongyang to issue repeated, strongly worded warnings of imminent conflict, adding to international concern after North Korea’s third nuclear test last February.
This article was posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 at 6:26 am