A spokesman for the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) released the following statement on Wednesday 13 November.
We have explicitly defined the joint military drills being planned by the USA and south Korea as a main factor in ratcheting up tensions on the Korean peninsula and in the wider region, and have expressed deep concern over them, repeatedly warning both parties to stop such drills.
Despite our repeated warnings, the US and south Korea have decided to push ahead with a military drill hostile to the DPRK at this most sensitive time. This has further enraged our people, making it hard for them to keep the patience they have so far exercised.
The US defence department and joint chiefs of staff, asserting that they would adjust the scale of the projected US-south joint air drill and not stage it in consideration of north Korea’s anger, have instead declared that now is just the time to launch a new drill and, even tonight, they are girding themselves for war.
The US is ignoring the year-end time limit that we set [to conclude a deal] out of great patience and magnanimity.
These moves constitute a total breach of the 12 June DPRK-US joint statement, which was adopted on the basis of mutual trust. They are an open denial of the Singapore agreement, which evoked such worldwide sensation.
We have tried hard to recognise the US as a dialogue partner, halting various actions that the US was concerned about, and taking all possible confidence-building measures, true to the commitment made by both sides to pause all military actions that might irritate and antagonise the other side during the goodwill discussions.
By our efforts, the US president’s self-proclaimed ‘successes’ were made possible. We have made concessions that the US president can brag about, but the US has not yet taken any corresponding step. Betrayal is all we see from the US side.
The US is persisting with this unreasonable approach, having overturned the official stand of its president, who promised to handle the ‘nuclear issue of north Korea’ in a new way. Thus, ever greater obstacles are being placed in the way of improving DPRK-US relations and putting an end to hostilities.
This year alone, the USA staged operations Key Resolve and Foal Eagle (with changed codename Alliance 19) in March and Ulji Freedom Guardian (with changed codename ‘drill for examining wartime operation control transfer’) in August. Whenever it was given opportunities, the US waged a series of dangerous hostile military acts under the guise of ‘special operation drills’.
Such reciprocation of good faith with evil have already pushed DPRK-US relations to the verge of breakdown. At this moment, the USA is contemplating carrying out combined aerial drills with south Korea that would target its dialogue partner, the DPRK, and which could only aggravate the situation further.
Our official stand is that we can no longer remain an onlooker to such reckless acts.
When one party backpedals on its commitments and unilaterally takes hostile steps, there is neither reason nor excuse for the other party to feel bound to those commitments.
What’s more, there is no time left [in which to negotiate a peace deal before the end of the year, as previously agreed].
Now that the threat to our sovereignty and the security is clearly seen, it is the full-fledged self-defensive right of a sovereign state to take countermeasures to contain it.
It is our intention to answer dialogue with dialogue, and to respond to force in kind.
Looking back at past hours, which we let pass with patience, we no longer feel the need to exercise more patience.
The US must ponder what it can do during the short hours that are left to it.
The US had better behave with prudence at this sensitive time, when the situation on the Korean peninsula could go back to the starting point as a result of its joint military drills with south Korea – drills that are the biggest factor in the vicious cycle of hostile DPRK-US relations.
Let the US meditate on ‘new way’ we can be compelled to take, and what influence that might have on the ‘future of the US’ itself.
It will face a greater threat and be forced to admit its failure, finding itself in trouble before long if it doesn’t do anything to change the trend of the present situation.