North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un warns that the situation on the Korean peninsula is “very grave” as tensions mount between the two Koreas.
The North’s official KCNA news agency said on Wednesday that Kim made the remarks in a meeting with the country’s senior military officials a day earlier.
“The current situation is very grave,” said the North Korean leader, criticizing the United States and South Korea for the recent tensions.
Kim also said at the meeting that Washington and Seoul had gone ahead with their joint military drills in the region despite Pyongyang’s conciliatory gestures.
“The United States and other hostile forces, ignoring our magnanimity and goodwill, are viciously stepping up their maneuvers in order to annihilate our republic politically, isolate it economically and crush it militarily,” he said.
He pointed out that North Korea’s military and people will not tolerate the “US policy of hostility” and will “crush it thoroughly.”
Tensions have recently been on the rise between the two Koreas as Pyongyang accuses its southern neighbor and Washington of “rehearsing for an invasion.”
Pyongyang has recently launched rockets and ballistic missiles and has also threatened to conduct a new nuclear test.
On Tuesday, the two Koreas traded fire across their disputed Yellow Sea maritime border. A South Korean Ministry of Defense spokesman said Seoul counter-fired over the Northern Limit Line. A similar incident took place on Monday.
The Yellow Sea area has been the scene of deadly clashes in the past.