Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, supervised the fire drills in which his country’s military fired six alleged short-range ballistic missiles. In addition, he instructed the military to prepare for “real war” after the drills. Ahead of the missiles launch, North Korea issued a warning to the United States, claiming that joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea would cause tensions to rise and that any effort to shoot down one of its test missiles would be seen as a declaration of war. Prior to the tests, the United States and South Korea conducted combined air drill with a long range Bomber and fighter aircrafts in a show of force against the Pyonyang. According to the South Korean ministry of defense, the drill’s goals were to practice coordination and demonstrate Washington’s “extended deterrence” against North Korean threats. As a response, Kim Jong Un’s sister issued a warning that her country is prepared to take quick and overwhelming action against the United States and South Korea. North Korea strongly resists allied drills as an invasion practice and a direct threat.
North-Korea Urged UN to halt South Korea-U.S. Joint Military Drills
The most recent North-Korean missiles launch took place a week before the start of the Freedom Shield exercises, a major military exercises involving the U.S. and South Korea. The ten-days long “Freedom Shield” and the “Warrior Shield” joint exercises between South Korea and the UN will take place from March 13 to 23. The U.S.-South Korea exercises are going to be the largest drill the two allies have in recent years, since the two countries conducted a similar drill during Trump’s era in 2017. North Korea has requested the United Nations to immediately halt joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea. North Korea’s vice Foreign Minister Kim claimed that the drills and the rhetoric from the allies have raised tensions to an “extremely dangerous level” in a statement on official media. It is disappointing that the United Nations has maintained its silence on the exercises, which have a clear aggressive element, he added. Moreover, he said that the United Nations and the international community “will have to strongly urge the United States and South Korea to immediately halt their provocative remarks and joint military exercises.”
Research Associate, Pakistan House