Sunday 01 August 2021
Because of possible military exercises
North Korea warns South Korea and USA
The sister of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un speaks of an “undesirable foreplay”. Joint military exercises by the US and South Korea are seen by Kim Yo Jong and the regime as preparation for an attack. In August, the allies could start their summer maneuver again.
A few days after re-establishing communication channels with South Korea that had been separate for months, North Korea warned its neighbors against new joint military exercises with the United States. She regards such exercises as “unwanted foreplay” that would undermine the will of the leaders of South and North Korea to restore mutual trust, said Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un. It would also “cloud the way forward in inter-Korean relations,” she was quoted as saying by the state media.
The Kim statement saw an attempt in South Korea to put pressure on Seoul to cancel the military maneuvers. Kim pointed out the summer maneuvers that the U.S. and South Korean allied forces usually begin in August. The communist leadership in Pyongyang sees such maneuvers as preparation for an attack – an accusation that Washington and Seoul deny. The US has around 28,500 armed forces stationed in allied South Korea as a deterrent to North Korea, which is armed with nuclear weapons.
Exercises already reduced
When and to what extent the summer maneuver can run this year is still unclear, according to South Korea. Seoul fears the exercises may run counter to efforts to re-negotiate with Pyongyang on its nuclear weapons program. In recent years, the USA and South Korea had already reduced some exercises, also for diplomatic reasons.
After a long radio silence, South and North Korea reopened their official communication links last Tuesday. According to both sides, the agreement was based on an exchange of letters between Kim Jong Uns and South Korean President Moon Jae In since April. The opening of the communication lines should not be understood as anything other than “a physical reconnection,” said Kim’s sister now. The resulting speculation about a new inter-Korean summit is premature.