North Korea has criticized both South Korea and the United States over their joint military exercises. North Korea has stated the drills have pushed the situation on the peninsula to a red line and have threatened the region into a more critical war zone. The statement was issued on Thursday and also threatened the “toughest” response.
Pyongyang also mentioned in the statement that it was not interested in dialogue as long as the United States pursued these “hostile” policies. The warning came after the US defense secretary visited South Korea and pledged to increase the US deployment of military assets to the Korean Peninsula. This pledge included fighter jets and aircraft carriers, and continued joint training and operational planning with South Korea. The statement from North Korea threatened to counter any short or long term military challenge with overwhelming nuclear force. Although both the United States and South Korea have described their military drills as defensive, North Korea views them as rehearsals for potential invasion. The South Korean defense ministry does not have an immediate response to the North Korean comment.