North Korea warns U.S. forces of "destruction" ahead of war drills

SEOUL Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:13am EST

A North Korean soldier looks south through a pair of binoculars on the north side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul, August 25, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

A North Korean soldier looks south through a pair of binoculars on the north side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul, August 25, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea on Sunday warned the top U.S. military commander stationed in South Korea that his forces would "meet a miserable destruction" if they go ahead with scheduled military drills with South Korean troops, North Korean state media said.

Pak Rim-su, chief delegate of the North Korean military mission to the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, gave the message by phone to Gen. James Thurman, the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, KCNA news agency said.

It came amid escalating tension on the divided Korean peninsula after the North's third nuclear test earlier this month, in defiance of U.N. resolutions, drew harsh international condemnation.

A direct message from the North's Panmunjom mission to the U.S. commander is rare.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The U.S.-South Korean Combined Forces Command is holding an annual computer-based simulation war drill, Key Resolve, from March 11 to 25, involving 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 U.S. troops.

The command also plans to hold Foal Eagle joint military exercises involving land, sea and air manoeuvres. About 200,000 Korean troops and 10,000 U.S. forces are expected to be mobilized for the two month-long exercise which starts on March 1.

"If your side ignites a war of aggression by staging the reckless joint military exercises...at this dangerous time, from that moment your fate will be hung by a thread with every hour," Pak was quoted as saying.

"You had better bear in mind that those igniting a war are destined to meet a miserable destruction."

Washington and Seoul regularly hold military exercises which they say are purely defensive. North Korea, which has stepped up its bellicose threats towards the United States and South Korea in recent months, sees them as rehearsals for invasion.

North Korea threatened South Korea with "final destruction" during a debate at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Sung-won Shim; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Comments (154)
Jeff93921 wrote:
This would be funny except;

It shows just how much of a laughing stock Obama has made us. No country has any concern of reprisals. They know the best we will do is send a stern letter and if they do it again or more we might send an even sterner letter.

It is a very dangerous stupid and weak position Obama has put us in, it will not be long before others think we are so feckless that they will not try a more direct attack – They already killed one of our Ambassadors and destroyed a Diplomatic outpost. Exactly how long before another USS Cole or another direct attack on American soil?

Feb 23, 2013 2:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:
Yawn.

Feb 23, 2013 2:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
Kailim wrote:
North Korea is becoming a bit out of mind, and the situation will be out of hand.

A possible solution is that the US withdraws its troops from the Korean Peninsula leaving North Korea out of any provocative excuses. Then through the UN urges both Koreas sit down and negotiate a peace treaty.

The US can and is able to come back crashing North Korea anytime shall it becomes utterly unreasonable while there is no outside interference or influence in the peninsula. At that point I don’t think China and Russia can say anything.

Feb 23, 2013 2:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
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