North Korea has threatened the United States with an “unimaginable strike” if it keeps up military drills with South Korea, which are currently ongoing.
The U.S. and South Korean forces are conducting maritime drills, including a multinational mine warfare exercise, in the waters off South Korea’s eastern coast. Over the next week, mine countermeasure ships, aircraft and explosive ordnance personnel will conduct a series of drills meant to practice procedures and tactics to detect and neutralize sea mines to create safe navigation routes. The evolutions are meant to provide increased mine countermeasure interoperability and readiness to respond to a contingency on the Korean Peninsula, the Department of Defense said.
North Korean state media, the Korean Central News Agency, said: “The U.S. is running amok by introducing under our nose the targets we have set as primary ones. […] The US should expect that it would face unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time,” according to The Mirror.
The U.S. is also expected to conduct a drill next week called Courageous Channel, where the U.S. will practice evacuating South Korea in the event of a world crisis.
North Korea is often more vocal during during any type of military drills, as it sees the drills as practice for the U.S. to invade or attack.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula is seemingly at a standstill, as both the U.S. and North Korea continue to go back and forth with threats and theoretical situations. It appears little progress has been made in steering North Korea away from its nuclear weapons ambitions.
A North Korean official recently told CNN that North Korea wants to develop a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can reach the East Coast of the U.S. before it will engage diplomatically with the Trump Administration.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had said Americans should be concerned with North Korea’s ability to possibly strike the U.S. mainland with a missile, and if the threat goes “beyond where it is today, well, let’s hope that diplomacy works,” CNN had reported, adding that Kelly said Pyongyang “is developing a pretty good nuclear re-entry vehicle,” meaning the missile would be able to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere without imploding, thus being able to strike a target.
President Donald Trump recently shut down Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statements that the U.S. has an open line of communication with Pyongyang, and would hope to solve the conflict diplomatically.
Trump alluded to the fact that his Administration and, most likely, the U.S. Military would be taking care of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
However, Tillerson on Sunday said diplomatic efforts would continue with North Korea until “the first bomb drops.”
North Korea last week threatened to again bomb Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, in light of the U.S.-South Korean military exercises happening this week.