N.Korea threatens 'pre-emptive' attacks on enemies

Pyongyang uses army anniversary to rattle sabers over striking at 'strongholds of aggression'

N.Korea threatens 'pre-emptive' attacks on enemies

World Bulletin / News Desk

North Korea marked the 69th anniversary of its armed forces Wednesday with a threat to launch pre-emptive strikes against its “enemies,” according to state media.

The warning came from Hwang Pyong-so, director of the Korean People’s Army’s General Political Bureau.

“If the enemies dare violate the sovereignty and dignity of the country even a bit, the KPA will wipe out the strongholds of aggression through merciless pre-emptive strikes,” Hwang was quoted as saying by the North’s KCNA news agency.

His comments were apparently made a day earlier in Pyongyang.

North Korea’s regular armed forces were set up on Feb. 8, 1948, two years before the 1950-53 Korean War.

The Koreas never signed a peace treaty after their conflict and the peninsula has been consistently under the threat of a new outbreak of war.

Pyongyang has sent out repeated warnings of provocations this year since leader Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s message expressing readiness to test an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The North is already operating under severe sanctions following years of defying the United Nations Security Council with nuclear and missile tests.

History suggests tensions will ramp up again next month with the start of large military drills involving the United States and South Korea.

Pyongyang sees both countries as enemy forces, particularly as around 30,000 American troops are stationed in the South as a legacy of the Korean War.

But 2017 could also see a shift if North Korea decides to wait on political developments in the U.S. under President Donald Trump and in South Korea, where a presidential election could take place as early as May if impeached leader Park Geun-hye is ousted.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Şubat 2017, 13:21