The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, smiles during a visit to the Amnokgang tire factory in Chagang province, in an undated photograph released this Sunday, December 3 by the North Korean official agency KCNA
North Korea called the US and South Korea „warmongers“ on Sunday, the eve of the start of their most important joint air maneuvers to date.
The „Vigilant Ace“ exercise, which will mobilize some 230 aircraft, including F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, starts on Monday and lasts five days. It takes place a few days after the North Korean regime tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) allegedly capable of reaching the US.
The Rodong newspaper, the only party in power in North Korea, denounced these maneuvers. „It is an open provocation, at all levels, against North Korea, which could lead to a nuclear war at any time,“ the newspaper said in its editorial.
„The American warmongers and their South Korean puppet would do well to remember that their military exercise against North Korea will be as stupid as an act that precipitates its self-destruction,“ he added.
The North Korean Foreign Ministry accused the Administration of President Donald Trump on Saturday of „wanting nuclear war at any price“ with this aerial simulation.
HR McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, recently considered that the possibility of a war with North Korea was reinforced.
„I think it increases every day, which means […] that we are in a race to solve the problem,“ he said during a forum. „There are ways to deal with this problem outside of an armed conflict, but it is a race because it is getting closer and closer [to its objective], there is not much time left,“ he added.
North Korea claims to have tested a new ICBM, the Hwasong-15, capable of carrying „an oversized heavy warhead“ that can reach the entire continental United States. Leader Kim Jong-Un declared that his country had achieved its goal: to become a nuclear State in its own right.
Pyongyang must still demonstrate that it dominates the key technology to ensure the survival of the warheads upon their re-entry into the atmosphere from space.