North Korea’s National Defense Commission Monday denounced the military exercises in a statement and said it was prepared for a “sacred war of justice for reunification”.
“Now, what matters is to thoroughly implement the Security Council sanctions to make sure that North Korea will abandon its nuclear program and move toward change” , Park said in a regular meeting with her top aides at Cheong Wa Dae, South Korea’s presidential office.
Seoul said the exercises would be the largest ever.
China on Monday called for a fair and balanced execution of the United Nations resolution against North Korea, adding that the responsibility is not confined to Beijing.
The drills test the allies’ ability to respond to North Korean attacks on the Korean Peninsula.
The North, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as it is officially known, routinely issues threats of military action in response to the annual exercises that it sees as preparation for war against it.
About 17,000 American forces and 300,000 South Korean personnel – a third more from both militaries than last spring’s exercises – will take part in 11 days of computer-simulated training and eight weeks of field exercises, which will involve ground, air, naval and Special Operations services.
South Korean analysts believe North Korea will follow its nuclear threats with some sort of low-level provocation.
The United States and South Korea agreed last month to start talks about deploying the THAAD system to South Korea to counter the growing threat of North Korea’s weapons capabilities after the North’s launch of a long-range satellite.
North Korea then immediately deported all South Koreans who were working at the KIC and cut an emergency communication hotline put in place to defuse risky military situations. North Korea has denied any involvement in the hacking.
An intelligence official told KBS on Monday it is confirmed that North Korea carried out the attacks earlier this year.
The government said it will advise its citizens to not visit North Korean restaurants overseas, as the communist regime operates them to earn hard currency.
Last year, South Korea said North Korea has a 6,000-member cyber army dedicated to disrupting the South’s military and government.
“Blind faith in sanctions and pressure, actually, are not a responsible approach for the future of the Korean peninsula”.
Responding, a South Korean defence ministry spokesman said North Korea must refrain from a “rash act that brings destruction upon itself”.