These exercises, held along the border with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), included joint aircraft carrier strike drills and amphibious landing training, making them the largest-scale drills undertaken since 2018, at which time they were scaled down ahead of a summit about to be held between the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un, and the then US president, Donald Trump.
Coinciding with these latest drills, south Korea also staged a four-day ‘civil defence’ exercise involving 480,000 people.
South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol stated that “in order to maintain peace on the Korean peninsula, our watertight security posture must serve as a basis”. But just the contrary is the case. Far from serving the cause of peace and stability, these exercises are an outrageous provocation against the DPRK and threaten to bring war and to disturb the peace of the entire region.
Comrade Kim Jong Un has rightly blamed the exercises for once more bringing the Korean peninsula to the “brink of war”, citing the hostile policy of south Korea and US imperialism as justification for advancing the DPRK’s nuclear defence programme.
Held at a time of growing tension following the provocative visit of Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, to the Chinese province of Taiwan, these exercises added fuel to the fire, bringing the whole region to the brink of a major confrontation.
Quite understandably, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted an unprecedented series of drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan in response.
Kim Yo Jong, one of the top leaders of the DPRK, characterised the south Korean president as a “naive child”, while contemptuously dismissing his offer of economic assistance.
Pyongyang has already blamed Seoul for a coronavirus outbreak this year, which was introduced by flying balloons contaminated with Covid-19 over the demilitarised zone.
With great emotion, Kim Yo Jong exposed the suffering inflicted on the people of the DPRK by the cruel actions of the south Korean authorities: “Think of how the fearful clouds of death roamed above our people’s heads, how many people suffered from high fever and pain, and how people struggled in pain and fear, terrified of losing beloved children and … families”, she said at an event to declare the DPRK’s victory over the virus. (US and South Korea launch war games for first time in four years by Chrisian Davies, Financial Times, 23 August 2022)
Our party unreservedly condemns these provocative exercises and calls upon the USA and south Korea to desist from such provocations, while expressing our firm support for the stance of the DPRK.