Pyongyang, Oct 20 (UNI): North Korea reserves the right to launch a preemptive attack on strategic forces of the United States being transferred to South Korea, North Korean state-run news agency KCNA reported Friday.
Media reported earlier this week that a US nuclear-capable B-52 bomber landed at an air base in South Korea on Tuesday for the first time since it began training with the Korean air force last December.
Following the landing, South Korean media reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that Seoul, Washington and Tokyo will conduct their first joint aerial exercise near the Korean Peninsula on October 22, which will also include “a formation flight with the B-52 escorted fighter jets from the three countries.”
Any US strategic assets deployed in South Korea would become “the first target to be destroyed,” the report said, adding that Washington “would be well aware that the Korean peninsula is technically at war.”
North Korea also believes that “the days had gone when the right to preemptive strike was ‘monopoly’ of the U.S.,” the state media reported.
Pyongyang also believes that the joint drills planned for October 22 are “the intentional nuclear war provocative moves of the U.S.”
Last week, the nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its battle group arrived in the South Korean largest seaport of Busan, prompting criticism from North Korea, which described the port call as a military provocation.
The North argues that the buildup of nuclear assets on the peninsula is destabilising the region.