Support our mission

SEOUL — North Korea is ratcheting up the propaganda machine again, decrying a confluence of U.S. military moves in the Pacific as a prelude to war.

With an annual U.S.-South Korean computer war game set to kick off later this month and the nuclear carrier USS John C. Stennis deploying to the region, North Korea’s state-run media unleashed a slew of rants this week.

“In accordance with its risky war plan, the United States posts state-of-the-art military equipment in South Korea and neighboring countries,” a commentary by KCNA, North Korea’s official news agency, read Tuesday. “It is trying to divide the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war.”

Ulchi Focus Lens, the computer exercise beginning in late August, was a pretext to use computer viruses and other technological weapons against Pyongyang, the North claimed, demanding the exercise be canceled.

In another commentary, KCNA decried the Stennis deployment, saying the move could only be an effort to establish an advanced base for bombers and fighters.

“Already deployed in South Korea are Stryker armored cars, new-type Patriot missiles and Stealth fighter-bombers which the U.S. boasts of as ultra-modern weapons tested in the Iraqi war,” KCNA said.

“The Korean people should meet the U.S. head-on with a nationwide anti-U.S. and anti-war resistance. We will close the history of the U.S. forces’ occupation and colonial rule over South Korea for the sake of peace on the Korean peninsula.”

While North Korea frequently launches such diatribes against the U.S. military, they are now part of a backdrop that includes negotiations to eliminate the North’s nuclear weapons program; dispatches of both U.S. and South Korean troops to Iraq; and a major shuffling of U.S. bases in South Korea.

U.S. military officials have repeatedly said the military moves are aimed not at an invasion of the North, but at providing a strengthened deterrent. U.S. officials emphasize “capabilities” in the region instead of the physical number of troops; but it is these same capabilities against which the North Koreans are now complaining.

“The U.S. bellicose forces in conspiracy with the south Korean military recently worked out a fresh ‘Operation Plan 5027-04,’ in which their previous war scenario against the DPRK has been put into specific perfect shape,” a Rodong Sinmun commentary read Monday.

“The danger of this war scenario lies in that the operation plan involves blitz tactics of mobilizing ultra-modern military equipment and small armed forces, the Rumsfeld-style conception of war touted by the Bush regime. All facts go to clearly prove that the U.S. imperialists are seeking to achieve their aggressive aim to mount a surprise attack on the DPRK and conclude a war through blitz warfare.”

U.S. proposals to relocate some bases and remove some 12,500 troops from the Korean Peninsula are a ruse, the North Koreans say.

“It is well known that the U.S. farce of ‘reducing’ its forces is always followed by aggression and war. The bellicose elements had better stop acting rashly. Any mode of war will prove futile and the aggressors should not expect any mercy in face of the DPRK’s war deterrent force it has built,” the North’s main newspaper said, in a reference to the nuclear weapons it is believed to possess.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up