On July 21, Choe Jin, Deputy Director General of the Institute for Disarmament & Peace (IDP), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) had an interview with the producers of Associated Press Television News (APTN) Pyongyang Representative Office on the occasion of the 69 th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.
The contents of the interview are as follows:
Q: The coming July 27 marks the 69 th anniversary of conclusion of the Korean armistice agreement. However, the Korean peninsula is still caught in increased military tension, without having durable peace so far.
The international society is now expressing great concern about it. What do you think is the cause of the current aggravated situation on the Korean peninsula?
A: July 27 is a day of victory for the Korean people when we had defended the sovereignty, political system and territory of our newly founded Republic from the aggressive war ignited by the U.S. imperialists.
The country which shot off the fireworks of victory in this war was the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, while the humiliating defeat was for the U.S. which was boasting of being the “strongest” in the world.
But the U.S., instead of drawing a due lesson from its defeat, is given to its vicious move to provoke a new war throughout decades and centuries, without abandoning its wild dream for aggression against our Republic.
A few years ago, thanks to our proactive and peace-loving efforts, the détente and peaceful climate were created on the Korean peninsula. But they are vanished into thin air. This is entirely attributable to the U.S. which remains unchanged in its hostile policy against the DPRK and poses a military threat to it.
Notably, the joint military exercises conducted frequently by the U.S. and its vassal forces this year constitute the main factor in driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of war.
I would like to cite a few examples.
The U.S. ruler, during his visit to south Korea in May, has made a commitment to the delivery of extended deterrence including the nukes, expansion of joint military exercises in scale and scope and deployment of the U.S. nuclear strategic assets on the Korean peninsula. After that, the military moves by the U.S. and its following forces against the DPRK are spiraling into danger.
Let us see one month of June. The U.S. and south Korea have staged a joint military exercise, including the anti-aircraft, anti-ship and anti-submarine operations, and sea lane interception. Moreover, the U.S. forces, air self-defense forces of Japan and air forces of south Korea have conducted joint aerial exercises almost every day in the skies over the Korean peninsula and its vicinity.
Also in the Pacific, the strike groups of the U.S. nuclear carriers “Ronald Reagan”, and “Abraham Lincoln” and nearly 13,000 U.S. troops were mobilized for mobile exercise codenamed “Valiant Shield”.
According to the agreement made in mid-June at the U.S.-Japan-south Korea trilateral defense ministers’ meeting held on the occasion of the Asia Security Summit, they are planning to conduct “Pacific Dragon” exercise in August in the waters off Hawaii, which is aimed at detecting and tracking the ballistic missiles.
From June 29, the U.S., together with south Korean army, have started the “RIMPAC” in the Pacific, the world’s biggest multi-national naval exercise to conduct the operation of searching and seizing the ship.
And from June 14 to July 9, it has also conducted “Combined Special Forces Training” at Fort Irwin base in California with the participation of 5,000 troops including the U.S. 1 st Cavalry Division and 1 st Special Forces and 100 south Korean troops including 70-odd soldiers belonging to the Special Forces Command of south Korean army.
On July 5, “F-35A” stealth fighters of the U.S. Air Force have openly flied into south Korea again after 4 years and 7 months to conduct joint aerial drill with fighters of south Korean Air Force. The spokespersons for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Pacific Air Forces Command did not hide the fact that this drill is aimed at posing a military threat to our Republic.
What is worthy of special notice is the fact that the U.S. and south Korea are attempting to conduct joint military exercise targeting our Republic from August 22. And according to a report, the defense minister of south Korea is to discuss detailed action plan for expansion of joint military exercise in scale and scope and deployment of the U.S. strategic nuclear assets on the Korean peninsula during his visit to the U.S.
The U.S. and its vassal forces are increasing their military pressure on our Republic. All this is raising a serious concern that the ravages of the war 72 years ago could be repeated on this land.
Q: Not only on the Korean peninsula, but also in different parts of the world, the U.S. is conducting joint military exercises of different codenames with other countries. Anyhow, it is worth noting that the U.S.-south Korea joint exercises are considered to be a dangerous factor undermining peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the region. What reason do you think stands behind this?
A: Whenever the U.S. conducts a joint military exercise against us, it is always insisting that they are for the “defensive” and “annual” event. But the purpose and content of the exercise alone are enough to show the aggressive nature of the exercise.
The U.S.-south Korea Joint military exercises are totally different from the joint drills conducted by the U.S. with other countries under the names of “disaster rescue” and “humanitarian operation”. Their underlying objectives, to all intents and purposes, are to make themselves well-versed in the war plans for surprise attack against the DPRK in an atmosphere of real war.
Take an example of “OPLAN 5015”.
“OPLAN 5015” is an extremely dangerous nuclear war plan that includes the war scenarios drafted by the U.S. and south Korea against the DPRK, namely, “OPLAN 5027” and “OPLAN 5029”, as well as “tailored deterrence strategy” to preemptively attack us by all means including nuclear weapons.
The U.S. and south Korea conduct large-scale military exercises twice every year, one in the first half of the year, and the other in the second half. They all use “OPLAN 5015” as their operation manual.
Whenever joint military exercise takes places, “decapitation operation”, large-scale landing operation and “invasion of Pyongyang” by the commando unit go in tandem with it. Even a mere child knows that the content of the exercise is a far cry from being “defensive” in nature.
In May this year, the U.S. ruler visited south Korea. During his visit, he reaffirmed that he will provide south Korea with extended deterrence that involves the use of all possible means including nuclear weapons targeting us.
Such being the situation, it is crystal clear that the U.S.-south Korea joint military exercise to be held at the end of August this year will become a real war exercise aimed at attacking us preemptively, just like in the past periods.
The offensive nature of the joint military exercise is also revealed through the scale and scope of the exercise.
Here is the data released by the U.S. and south Korea. According to it, more than hundreds of thousands of troops have been mobilized in each exercise, and at one time, as many as 500,000.
In May this year, a NATO military exercise was conducted in Poland under the participation of over 20 countries. This has made the news. But that exercise has seen the participation of only 18,000 troops.
What’s more, the U.S. deployed nuclear submarines, strategic bombers such as “B-52H”, “B-1B”, “B-2” and even nuclear carriers on the Korean peninsula every time it conducts joint military exercises with south Korea. We can easily guess what roles these nuclear strategic assets have played.
Q: Now the U.S. is working on bilateral/multilateral security system in the Asia-Pacific region as part of implementation of Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy. Do you see any connection between the above and the U.S.-south Korea joint military exercises?
A: Recently, the U.S. is saying that the “alliance” with south Korea will be converted into a “comprehensive strategic alliance”. At the same time, it is now pushing ahead with the creation of “Asian version of NATO”.
Especially, after change of the regime in south Korea, the region of north-east Asia witnessed much more intensified joint military exercises of all sorts involving the U.S., Japan and south Korea. And the U.S. is now set on forming a tripartite military alliance.
Recently, Esper, the former U.S. defense secretary said that south Korea should unite with the Western countries to stand up to China. He also said that south Korea should join “Quad”. He further noted, should the U.S. intervene in Taiwan Emergency, south Korea would also join the U.S. in one way or another. This is a passage suggestive of potential devastating impact of the U.S.-led joint military drills on the security structures of the northeast Asia and Asia-Pacific region.
This corroborates that the joint military exercises of the U.S. and its allied forces are not aiming at us alone.
The above facts clearly show that the U.S. is indeed a cancer disturbing peace and stability not only in northeast Asia but also in the whole of Asia-Pacific region.
Q: The U.S. and south Korea claim that their military exercises are the countermeasures against the weapon test of the DPRK. How is the DPRK going to respond to the American extended deterrence and its joint military exercises with south Korea?
A: Our measures to build up national defense capabilities are legitimate and righteous exercise of our sovereignty to defend the national security and territory against the military threat from the outside. They have never done any harm to any country.
Talking about tests, the U.S. has also recently conducted a new-type ICBM test launch and hypersonic missile test. South Korea as well is now hyping up the development and deployment of high-destructive ballistic missiles and SLBMs, and additional introduction of ultra-modern stealth fighters.
It does not stand to reason that such people are picking a quarrel with us over the development and tests of our weapons. This indeed is a height of absurdity, shamelessness and double-standard.
Now the U.S. is inviting a security crisis, a crisis far beyond its control.
American attempt at military confrontation against us is a strategic blunder of dire consequences that would plunge its own national security into grave danger.
Should the U.S. and its vassal forces opt for military confrontation with us, they would be faced with unprecedented instability security-wise.
We are keeping a watchful eye on how the U.S. is going to deal with the military confrontation with us, with all its painstaking efforts at security crisis management in Europe.
Gone are the days when the U.S. used to pose unilateral nuclear threat to us. The U.S. should keep in mind that it will be treated on a footing of equality when it threatened us with nukes.
Our mode of countermeasure is quite obvious when we deal with the reckless moves of military confrontation of the U.S. and its followers.
We will deal with the U.S. strictly with the principle of power for power and head-on contest.
Comrade Kim Jong Un , President of the State Affairs said that the prevailing situation compels us to take yet more proactive measures to permanently guarantee the modernity and military-technical superiority of the armed forces of our Republic and that we will advance faster with enhanced dynamic along the path of building modern arms for self-defense to cope with the rapidly changing politico-military situation and all the potential crisis in the future.
The U.S. is well-advised to learn a serious lesson from its humiliating defeat in the past fatherland liberation war, the war that may well be metaphorically termed a confrontation between a rifle and an A-bomb, and it should come up with a resolute decision to give up its anachronistic and suicidal policy of hostility towards the DPRK.
Doing so would be the only way out for the U.S. to ensure its national security and avoid undesirable consequences for it.