Korea calls S. Korea's border firing reckless provocation

Patrice Gainsbourg
Junho 2, 2017

The South was "caught by mental derangement" and "confrontation hysteria", it said, describing the DMZ as "the most acute hotspot where huge troops of both sides constantly level their guns at each other".

North Korea added a new twist to the unusual saga of a flying object that crossed into South Korean airspace earlier this week, saying the rival military had opened fire on a "flock of birds".

The South said the balloons were likely to have come from inside North Korea. In 2010, Seoul imposed the "May 24 Measure", which banned almost all exchanges between the two Koreas, in retaliation for an attack by the current leader's father, Kim Jong Il, on a South Korean navy ship.

The United Nations Security Council is set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss North Korea's recent actions, including the Sunday missile test.

Tensions have spiked in the region over the nuclear-armed North's weapons ambitions and a series of missile launches.

"By relentlessly bringing in a number of strategic nuclear assets to the Korean peninsula, the U.S.is gravely threatening the peace and safety and driving the situation to the brink of nuclear war", North Korean officials said in a statement in April.

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Western powers and the country's neighbours have strongly condemned the tests, only for Kim Jong Un's regime to counter with threats of nuclear annihilation.

Given Pyongyang's continued weapons testing, analysts say Kim's intentions are clear - he has no interest in diplomacy, even with South Korea's pro-engagement Moon, nor does he want to stop or reverse his nuclear weapons program.

The missile, while not created to reach beyond most of the USA bases in South Korea and Japan, can be fired with nearly no preparation time from the back of a mobile launcher, giving North Korea more stealth in its launches, as well as the ability to retaliate in the case of a strike against it, experts say.

It includes four main strategies - not recognizing North Korea as a nuclear state, imposing every possible sanction and pressure, not seeking a regime change and resolving the problem with dialogue in the end. The reclusive country warned the USA about its recent military drills with South Korea as well as its missile defense system, THAAD, installed in South Korea in April.

Yun briefed the lawmakers on the Trump administration's approach toward Pyongyang.

"Whether the Moon administration is willing to go down this road, Pyongyang is willing to cease its testing at this point and the US will support such an initiative remain to be seen".

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