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NK warns of 'overwhelming' actions against US

Kim Yo-jong,<strong></strong> the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in this undated photo/ Korea Times file
Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in this undated photo/ Korea Times file

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, warned Tuesday the North is ready to take "overwhelming" actions against military activities by the United States and South Korea, as its rivals are staging joint military drills involving American strategic assets.

Kim also said the North will regard any U.S. attempt to intercept a missile that it will fire as a "clear declaration of war" against the reclusive nation, according to the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"We are always on standby to take appropriate, quick and overwhelming action at any time according to our judgment," Kim said in an English-language statement carried by the state-run media, adding that the North is keeping close tabs on "restless military moves" by Seoul and Washington.

South Korea and the U.S. conducted combined air drills Monday, involving at least one U.S. nuclear-capable B-52H strategic bomber, in the wake of Friday's similar drills mobilizing a U.S. B-1B bomber.

Top US general may visit Seoul later this month: source Top US general may visit Seoul later this month: source 2023-03-07 10:13  |  Defense
The allies also plan to stage the Freedom Shield (FS) exercise, a computer-simulated command post training, from March 13-23 in a bid to bolster deterrence against the North's nuclear and missile threats.

Kim also took issue with a news report about the commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. A local newspaper reported Monday that Adm. John Aquilino warned if the North fires an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) toward the Pacific, the U.S. will immediately intercept it.

"It will be regarded as a clear declaration of war against the DPRK, in case such military response as interception takes place against our tests of strategic weapons that are conducted without being detrimental to the security of neighboring countries in the open waters and air which do not belong to the U.S. jurisdiction," she said.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kim has recently threatened that the North could use the Pacific as its "firing range" in response to joint military drills by the U.S. and the South. Some observers said the North may fire an ICBM on a standard trajectory toward the Pacific Ocean.

In a separate statement, the North's foreign ministry renewed its call for the U.S. to halt its combined military exercises with the South, warning that a "violent physical conflict" could occur on the Korean Peninsula.

"The international community should ... send a clear signal to the U.S. and South Korea to stop the war drills at once," the unnamed chief of the ministry's foreign news section said. (Yonhap)




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