North Korea says it does not seek war with the United States but Washington’s threats against the North have made the outbreak of war in the Korean Peninsula an “established fact,” and Pyongyang will not be hiding from a potential conflict.
The official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted an unnamed spokesman for the North’s Foreign Ministry as making the comments late on Wednesday.
The official further lambasted the “confrontational warmongering” by US officials.
“We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it,” the spokesman further said, adding, “The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?”
During the past recent months, tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated markedly after Pyongyang’s latest missile and nuclear tests, conducted despite growing international pressure.
The US and South Korea kicked off a five-day war games — called Vigilant Ace — on Monday, with more than 200 aircraft, which have been conducting mock attacks on North Korea in different war scenarios. The provocative military exercises came a week after Pyongyang announced that it had tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile yet, which was capable of targeting the US mainland.
Two days before the commencement of the joint drills, the North warned US President Donald Trump that he was “staging an extremely dangerous nuclear gamble on the Korean Peninsula.”
Last week, US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley warned North Korea that the country’s leadership would be “utterly destroyed” if war were to break out between Washington and Pyongyang.
Pyongyang says it will not give up on its nuclear deterrence until Washington stops its hostile policy toward the country.
The United States has thousands of troops in the region, including in South Korea and Japan, and routinely threatens North Korea with military action to stop its weapons programs.