South Korea War Games Begin Despite Threats From North Korea

The incident led South Korea to blast propaganda on loudspeakers across the border into the North.

The statement was released via state news agency KCNA on Monday, the same day that the Ulchi Freedom Guardian command and control exercise began.

This year's 12-day long drills include about 25,000 USA troops and 50,000 South Korean troops.

A spokesman for the Korean People's Army said the North is ready to make "preemptive retaliatory strikes" against the United States and South Korea because of the drills. But the latest warning comes at a time of more tension following the defection of a senior North Korean diplomat and a USA plan to place a high-tech missile defence system in South Korea.

North and South Korea technically remain under a state of war dating from the 1950-'53 civil war that ended with a truce rather than a peace treaty.

Most South Korean analysts say it's premature to take the defections of Thae and other senior officials as indicators that the unity of North Korea's ruling elite is starting to crack because there are no significant signs that Kim's grip on power is weakening.

The South Korean Ministry of Unification said that the drill is purely defensive, expressing its regret about threats of nuclear war from the North.

North Korea's threats come amid new concerns over the increased sophistication of that country's nuclear and missile programs.

As a long-time North Korean ally, China has criticized the war games.

What comes next on the Korean peninsula?

First initiated in 1976, UFG is a command post exercise, mainly composed of simulation exercises of ROK-US operations against North Korea with minimal field maneuvers. However it looks as though efforts were wound down in July.

South Korea believes that its neighbor may turn to assassinations and kidnappings to assert its authority following a number of recent defections. An official from the Unification Ministry said that North Korea is in "a very hard situation" following the defection of the North Korean deputy ambassador to London.

Victor Cha, the Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told CNN that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is engaging in "much more aggressive" and "much more provocative" behavior than his predecessor and father, Kim Jong Il.

They added: "It is highly likely that North Korea will make various attempts to prevent further defections and unrest among its people".

It said that Thae "should have received legal punishment for the crimes he committed, but he discarded the fatherland that raised him and even his own parents and brothers by fleeing, thinking nothing but just saving himself, showing himself to be human scum who lacks even an elementary level of loyalty and even tiny bits of conscience and morality that are required for human beings". It also denounced the British government for ignoring worldwide protocol by rejecting what it said were demands to have Thae extradited back to the North and instead handing him over to the South.

Related news:

Hot News

Michael Phelps adamant that he will stay retired
Aug 23, 2016 - 04:57
The USA's first medal dates back to 1896, when James Connolly won triple jump gold. And everything just really hit hard".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 1 man killed, Louisiana trooper wounded in New Orleans
Aug 23, 2016 - 04:55
When authorities located one of the suspects, he began to fire at police who returned fire, striking the suspect, Harrison said. Three subjects exited the vehicle and then an exchange of gun fire ensued between one of the subjects and a State Trooper.

Kevin Durant says playing in the Olympics was 'therapy' in insane summer
Aug 23, 2016 - 04:55
What separated their Golden Generation from all worldwide teams since was how evenly their talent was distributed. He was brought in to win, and that's what he's done, winning every FIBA tournament and putting up a 60-1 record.

Trump stance on mass deportation 'to be determined'
Aug 22, 2016 - 00:21
And we need Donald Trump to disclose all of his financial ties and whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin. She said the Republican presidential nominee will release more details on his intentions in the coming weeks.

Minnesota man jailed in death of co-worker's 5-year-old girl
Aug 22, 2016 - 00:16
Authorities issued an Amber Alert Saturday and were able to track Alayna's father's cell phone, which had been in the auto . Anderson is a 26-year-old white male described as being 5 foot 11 inches tall, 190 pounds and with a short scruffy beard.

Waukesha Native, Gwen Jorgensen, Wins Gold in Olympics Triathlon
Aug 22, 2016 - 00:15
Within seconds, she had opened a gap on Spirig, one that would grow to 40 seconds by the end of the race. Twenty meters from the finish, Jorgensen moved her sunglasses to the top of her head and smiled.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Saina undergoes knee surgery, likely to be out for 4 months
Aug 21, 2016 - 01:32
The world no 5 lost her second group league encountered 18-21, 19-21 to World No 61 Ulitina to crash out of the competition. Singh said: "It (inflammation on her right knee) was (there) earlier". "Wish you a speedy recovery from the knee surgery".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Leicester, Arsenal winless after 0-0 tie
Aug 21, 2016 - 01:31
I've achieved good things with this club. "We spoke together last season and also in pre-season". It is important to have a lot of quality players to choose from".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Puff Daddy delays Bad Boy Family reunion tour for surgery
Aug 21, 2016 - 01:30
Please note that in July, Page Six published this great headline: " Cassie spotted flirting with someone other than Diddy ". Eventually, the rapper arrived back home to give the phone back, but not before Cassie's mother called the cops on him.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump to propose political tests for immigrants
Aug 21, 2016 - 01:30
Our country has enough problems", he said. "Suspending immigration would only trap those who need refuge most". Mr Trump has previously called for an unprecedented temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the US.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Urjit Patel The New RBI Governor
Aug 21, 2016 - 01:28
This was followed by a three-year stint as a consultant with the Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry. Sajjid Chinoy of JPMorgan speaking to CNBC TV18 said: "Urjit Patel understands the macro economic system very well".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kenya's Cheruiyot stuns Ayana to win 5000m gold
Aug 21, 2016 - 01:28
Cheruiyot went past Ayana with less than two laps to go and could not be caught as she finished in 14 minutes 26.17 seconds. Rio de Janeiro , Brazil, Aug 20 (efe_epa).

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Rio Olympics 2016: Charlotte Dujardin wins GB individual dressage gold
Aug 20, 2016 - 04:03
As promised, prior to the Freestyle Dujardin made the trek to see Christ the Redeemer, the famous statue which looms over Rio. I love him to bits @JasonKenny107! "If you write down what he's achieved, you would read it and not think it's possible".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 5 hurt in attack on military vehicle in eastern Turkey
Aug 20, 2016 - 04:01
Dozens of other people, including some 20 police officers, were wounded, officials said. He also prayed for the speedy and full recovery of those injured.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Will Continental Resources (CLR) Stock Be Helped by Asset Sale?
Aug 20, 2016 - 04:00
They now have a Dollars 51 price target on the stock. 2196908 shares were traded on Continental Resources, Inc .'s last session. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link .