Seoul accuses Pyongyang of wanting to turn region into Middle East-like conflict area

Seoul, Feb 2 (EFE).- North Korea has focused on provocations through its weapons testing in an apparent bid to turn the Korean Peninsula into a region at perpetual risk of conflict, like areas of the Middle East, South Korea’s unification minister said Friday.

“North Korea appears to intend to make (the Korean Peninsula) a region where constant risks of military conflicts exist, such as the Middle East,” said Kim Yung-ho, whose portfolio is in charge of relations with the North, said in a radio interview.

“We should never fall for North Korea’s scheme,” he added, following the five weapons tests that the regime has launched since the start of the year, in addition to some artillery practices it carried out on the tense and disputed western maritime border.

In the last week, Pyongyang has carried out three cruise missile tests on both the coast of the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan.

The unification minister also said that Seoul will soon publish a report on the economic and social situations in North Korea that shows that the public food rationing system has collapsed.

His ministry interviewed more than 6,300 North Korean defectors and plans to release the report later this month.

Kim’s words come at a time of high tension between the North and South, which are technically still at war since the conflict ended with a ceasefire instead of a peace treaty.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently declared the neighboring state as its main enemy, said reconciliation between both countries is impossible, and then ordered the destruction of an iconic monument in Pyongyang that exalted a future reunification of the peninsula. EFE


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