North Korea accuses US of ‘air espionage,’ slams submarine plan

Seoul, Jul 10 (EFE) – North Korea on Monday accused the United States of violating its airspace with a reconnaissance aircraft and warned that the country’s plans to send a strategic submarine to the region will bring the peninsula “closer to the threshold of nuclear conflict.”

“This month alone, RC-135, U-2S and RQ-4B, strategic reconnaissance planes and reconnaissance drone belonging to the US Air Force, flew over the East and West seas of Korea in turn for eight straight days from July 2 to 9 to conduct provocative aerial espionage,” read a statement by a spokesman of the North Korean Ministry of National Defense published Monday by the state Korean Central News Agency.

“In particular, a strategic reconnaissance plane of the US Air Force illegally intruded into the inviolable airspace of [North Korea] over its East Sea (Sea of Japan) tens of kilometers several times,” added the text.

The spokesman, whose name was not specified, considered that the action takes “the regional situation into an irretrievable phase,” recalled that in the past North Korea shot down US “spy planes” on its territory in 1969 and 1994, and sent Washington “a serious warning.”

He also stressed the “very dangerous situation” posed by the plan of the US and South Korea to deploy a submarine with strategic nuclear weapons on the peninsula, as agreed by both allies in the Washington Declaration signed in April.

That agreement stipulates that the Pentagon will deploy US strategic assets, such as the submarine, on the peninsula on a rotating and temporary basis to deter North Korea from further developing weapons of mass destruction.

“The present situation clearly proves that the situation of the Korean Peninsula is coming closer to the threshold of nuclear conflict due to the US provocative military action,” the spokesman said.

“The US attempt to introduce strategic nuclear weapons into the Korean Peninsula is the most undisguised nuclear blackmail against [North Korea] and its neighboring countries and a grave threat and challenge to the regional and global peace and security.”

Following the failure of the 2019 denuclearization talks in Hanoi, tensions have once again soared on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea rejecting any offer of dialogue and conducting a record number of missile tests.

South Korea and the US have also resumed their large-scale joint military drills and periodically deployed US strategic assets. EFE


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