North Korea has warned that a nuclear war could be “imminent” because of South Korea and the United States alleged recent military maneuvers towards the country.
Vehement propaganda has started to emanate from the country over the last few weeks, insisting that North Korea might be forced to take dramatic action if it is provoked even further.
Earlier this month, North Korea threatened the two countries over their recent military drills, and they demanded the two allies cease their movements immediately.
Since then, the North has increased its verbal attacks on South Korea and the United States. The state-run media has accused the US of building up its military forces in Asia in order to take control of the entire region.
Rodong Sinmun, who is a key analyst for North Korea, stated on Monday, “It is the strategic goal of the U.S. to invade the DPRK, bring its neighboring countries under its control with it as a stepping-stone and, furthermore, dominate the whole Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. is working hard to kick off large-scale joint military drills this year, too, for the purpose of mounting a pre-emptive nuclear attack upon the DPRK.”
On Wednesday, Ji Jae Ryong, Pyongyang’s ambassador to North Korea’s ally, China, revealed that the North wants this tension to be reduced so that they can begin unification talks with the South.
Ji declared, “First, we propose taking preparatory measures in response to the warm call for creating an atmosphere for improving North-South ties. In this regard, we officially propose the South Korean authorities take critical measures of halting acts of provoking and slandering the other side from Jan. 30.” However, once again, Ji reiterated that Pyongyang doesn’t plan to abandon its nuclear weapons in order to reach this goal.
Experts have explained that North Korea are currently trying a “charm offensive,” which they would then exploit further down the line with a more heated response.
Daniel Pinkston, who works for the International Crisis Group, stated, “It feeds into the propaganda cycle again. It’s a way of showing the domestic audience that, ‘we made a serious overture. We tried to bend over backwards. But they showed their true colors.’ I don’t see any cooperative measures or charm offensive at all.”
It’s been reported that Seoul and Washington have basically ignored the North’s most recent plea. They are expected to continue with this year’s drills, which will take place until April and will see troops train in the air, land and sea.
However, despite North Korea’s response, tension isn’t expected to escalate, with professor Yoo He-yeol admitting, “North Korea is maintaining its nuclear weapons program but hasn’t launched any fresh provocation, so this year’s drills would be more like the routine ones they conducted in previous years.”