North Korea on Monday accused the United States of violating its airspace by conducting surveillance flights and warned that such flights could be shot down while Pyongyang exercises restraint. “The United States’ provocative military actions are bringing the Korean Peninsula closer to a nuclear conflict,” an unnamed spokesman for North Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
The report also cited the use of US reconnaissance planes and drones and said Washington was raising tensions by sending nuclear submarines near the peninsula. “There is no guarantee that a shocking accident like the downing of a US Air Force strategic reconnaissance aircraft will not happen east of Korea,” the spokesman said.
The statement cited past incidents of North Korea shooting down or intercepting US aircraft along South Korea’s border and coast. North Korea has often complained about US surveillance flights near the peninsula. There was no immediate response from the US military stationed in South Korea to a request for comment.
South Korea’s military said that North Korea’s claim of airspace violation is not true. It added that US aerial surveillance assets conduct regular reconnaissance flights around the peninsula, with allies working closely to monitor the north.
KCNA said the move by the United States to introduce strategic nuclear assets into the Korean Peninsula is “the most undeniable nuclear blackmail” against North Korea and regional countries and a serious threat to peace. It states, “Whether or not the extreme situation desired by anyone on the Korean Peninsula arises depends on the future course of action of the US, and if any sudden situation does happen… the US should be fully responsible for it.” will be held responsible.”
US and South Korean forces have been holding air and naval drills this year that involved a US aircraft carrier and heavy bombers. A US nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine also docked in South Korea’s Busan last month. North Korea’s statement condemned the US move to deploy a strategic nuclear submarine carrying nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula for the first time since 1981.
In April, the leaders of South Korea and the United States agreed that a US Navy nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine would visit South Korea for the first time since the 1980s, but there was no timetable for such a visit. given. It was part of a plan to boost the deployment of US strategic assets in defence of its ally South Korea, with the aim of more effectively responding to North Korean threats and weapons tests.
In June, a US B-52 strategic bomber took part in aerial military drills with South Korea in a show of strength, following the failed launch of a spy satellite by North Korea in late May. In written comments published Monday in The Associated Press, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said the time had come to show that “the international community’s determination to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program does not reflect North Korea’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons.” is stronger than the will of.” His office has said that Yoon is scheduled to attend a NATO summit in Lithuania this week, where he is expected to seek greater cooperation with NATO members on North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.