US imperialism and its minion, the South Korean regime, began large scale joint military exercises on 22 August 2022 – the first in four years. These exercises, held along the border with the 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 to be held between the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un, and the then US president, Donald Trump.
Coinciding with these drills, South Korea also staged a four-day civil defence exercise involving 480,000 people.
Yoon Suk-yeol, the South Korean president, stated that “in order to maintain peace on the Korean peninsula, our watertight security posture must serve as a basis”. 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 bringing the Korean peninsula to the “brink of war” and cited 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 add fuel to the fire, bringing the whole region to the brink of a major confrontation. Quite understandably, the PLA, in response, conducted an unprecedented series of drills close to Taiwan.
Kim Yo-jong, one of the top leaders of the DPRK, characterised the South Korean president as a “naïve child”, while contemptuously dismissing his offer of economic assistance.
Pyongyang has already blamed Seoul for a coronavirus outbreak this year through 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”, said Kim Yo-jong at an event to declare the DPRK’s victory over the virus (quoted by Chrisian Davies in the Financial Times of 23 August 2022, ‘US and South Korea launch war games for first time in 4 years’).
LALKAR unreservedly condemns these provocative exercises and calls upon the US and South Korea to desist from these provocations, while expressing its firm support for the stance of the DPRK.