N.Korea warns of nuclear ‘tipping point’

By AFP – Global Times Source:Global Times - AFP Published: 2017/7/9 21:48:39

Drill features US bombers destroying ‘enemy’ missile batteries


North Korea on Sunday lashed out at a live-fire drill the US and South Korea staged against Pyongyang, accusing Washington of pushing the Korean Peninsula to the "tipping point" of nuclear war.

The allies held the rare live-fire drill as tensions grew over the peninsula following North Korea's test-launch of a missile last week, which the US and South Korea believed is the country's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), while China said it is still investigating the matter.

The test sparked alarm from the US and South Korea, as they believe it suggested North Korea now possessed an ICBM capable of reaching Alaska, a major milestone for North Korea.

Saturday's drill, designed to "sternly respond" to potential missile launches by North Korea, saw two US bombers destroy "enemy" missile batteries and South Korean jets mount precision strikes against underground command posts.

North Korea's state-run Rodong newspaper accused Washington and Seoul of ratcheting up tensions with the drill, in an editorial titled "Don't play with fire on a powder keg."

"The US, with its dangerous military provocation, is pushing the risk of a nuclear war on the peninsula to a tipping point," it said, describing the peninsula as the "world's biggest tinderbox."

During Saturday's drill, long-range B-1B Lancer bombers reportedly flew close to the heavily-fortified border between two Koreas and dropped 2,000-pound (900 kilogram) bombs.

Pyongyang described the joint drill as a "dangerous military gambit of warmongers who are trying to ignite the fuse of a nuclear war on the peninsula."

"A small misjudgment or error can immediately lead to the beginning of a nuclear war, which will inevitably lead to another world war," it said.

Tension has been high as the US administration under President Donald Trump and the North's under leader Kim Jong-un have exchanged hostile rhetoric for months.

Tension further escalated after Tuesday's test, a milestone in the North's decades-long quest for weapons capable of reaching the US.

China has repeatedly expressed opposition to North Korea's missile launch against UN Security Council resolutions, as well as unilateral sanctions bypassing the UN Security Council, calling relevant parties to avoid escalating the tension and come back to the right track of peaceful negotiations. 

North Korea has staged five nuclear tests - including two last year - and has made a significant progress in its missile capability under Kim, who took power in 2011.

The US Missile Defense Agency said Friday it would soon test an anti-ballistic missile system in Alaska.



Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

blog comments powered by Disqus