North Korea issued a threat Monday morning on March 7, 2016, warning of an “indiscriminate pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice” on Washington and Seoul, in reaction to the start of the U.S.-South Korean military drills.
Threats such as these have been a staple of asserting dominance from the young leader of North Korea. Kim Jong Un has issued many threats and has ran numerous test runs on missiles and nuclear weapons since he took power in December 2011.
North Korea, which has isolated itself from the rest of the world, remains a constant threat with a temperamental leader and very little contact with anyone outside.
The North’s powerful National Defense Commission threatened strikes against targets in South Korea and U.S. bases in the Pacific.
There have also been threats of strikes against the U.S. mainland, as North Korea claims that its enemies are “working with the bloodshot eyes to infringe upon the dignity, sovereignty and vital rights” of North Korea.
The United Nations Security Council responded with tough, new sanctions, which have been condemned as “gangster-like” provocation orchestrated by the United States.
South Korean defense ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun retaliated, saying that North Korea must refrain from a “rash act that brings destruction upon itself.”
The U.S. and South Korea participate in annual war games, and this year’s are scheduled to be twice the size of last year.
The war games are a way for 17,000 U.S. and 300,000 South Korean troops to works together in military drills.
The exercises will run until April 30, and are intended to warn North Korea against provocations.
North Korea, however, sees the annual war games as a rehearsal for invasion.
“I understand how North Korea can see the games as a rehearsal for invasion, but I also see how other countries feel the games are vital for protection,” says sophomore Cara Parke.
Security tensions have increased since North Korea tested a nuclear device in January, followed by a rocket launch.
Although North Korea tries to show off their immense power, military analysts doubt the country has the ability to put nuclear warheads on its missiles.
The U.S. and South Korea also began formal talks on the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system to the peninsula.
These talks are strongly opposed by North Korea, Russia and China.
“Its scary to think about how strong North Korea comes across since it is an isolated country. I think the war games and drills are a smart idea to protect other countries,” says sophomore Stefani Scalisi.
Recently, the threat of North Korea has become more prominent as state media recently published photos of Un visiting nuclear technicians and standing next to what he claimed to be miniaturized nuclear warheads.
Un stated that his scientists had mastered the process of shrinking warheads to a size capable of fitting on a ballistic missile.
This step presents a heightened threat to South Korea and other countries in the region, which may eventually become a threat to the U.S.
As the United States continues to help train South Korean troops, North Korea continues to be aggravated and act out.
What do you think of the U.S. helping South Korea?