North Korea Fears US Invasion
North Korea accused the United States of stepping up preparations to attack the communist state, a day after it delayed high-level talks with South Korea over Seoul’s planned military drills with the US. North Korea’s Minju Joson newspaper cited a reported US plan to deploy more submarines and reconnaissance aircraft to Asia-Pacific, as well as joint military exercises with Japan and planned drills with South Korea as evidence Washington was preparing to invade.
“The US strengthening military moves on and around the Korean Peninsula is nothing but a premeditated manoeuvre to realise its hostile policy aimed at militarily stifling our republic,” the newspaper said in a commentary carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. “Under the current tense situation, the nuclear deterrent force of our republic effectively contributes to guaranteeing peace and safety of our republic . . . (We) will make every effort to solidify our self-defence force,” it said. Meanwhile, Rodong Sinmun, Pyongyang’s official mouthpiece and communist party paper on the same day slammed an agreement which would allow US troops based in South Korea to deploy elsewhere in the region if necessary, saying the move could spark a war, not only in the Korean Peninsula but in any area of Asia. “It is a criminal act of harassing peace and stability in the region, as it is a fresh military strategy designed to invade the DPRK (North Korea) and Asia,” Rodong said in a dispatch monitored in Seoul. South Korea and the United States announced on January 19 they will allow 32,000 US troops stationed in South Korea to move to other parts of the region. Seoul officials said Washington had promised not to draw South Korea into a regional conflict against the will of its people.