Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
North Korea Warns Against Nuclear Platforms in South's Military Drills
A North Korean diplomat on Friday warned there could be terrible consequences if U.S. nuclear forces participate in upcoming military exercises with the South.
"We courteously propose the South side not to resort to reckless acts of bringing dangerous nuclear strike means of the U.S. to South Korea and to areas around it," North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Sin Son Ho said at a rare press briefing, according to a Reuters report.
Pyongyang in recent days has repeatedly threatened Seoul and Washington over their planned yearly Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint armed forces exercises, which will be taking place from late February through April. When dual-capable U.S. B-2 aircraft practiced bombing runs over South Korea in last year's bilateral maneuvers, North Korea responded by vowing to launch nuclear strikes against the two allies. The regime went so far as to prime ballistic missiles for launch on its eastern coast.
"We remind once again that even minor and accidental conflict can immediately lead to an all-out war," Sin said. "We never want to see things fall out of control and plunge into unimaginable disaster."
The ambassador said it would be better for the United States and South Korea to stage their joint exercises "far away from the territorial land, sea and air of the Korean Peninsula."
Meanwhile, multiple anonymous sources told the Yonhap News Agency on Sunday that all family members of Jang Song Thaek have been executed. No information was provided in the report on how the sources came by the information.
Jang -- the uncle by marriage of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un -- was once the second-most-powerful man in North Korea until he was purged and killed in December.
"Extensive executions have been carried out for relatives of Jang Song Thaek," an unidentified insider told Yonhap. "All relatives of Jang have been put to death, including even children."
The purge of Jang has raised concerns in Seoul and Washington that the Kim regime may not be as stable as was once thought, which could have nuclear security and proliferation ramifications in the event of a government collapse in the isolated nation.
U.S. special envoy for North Korea policy Glyn Davies is in East Asia this week for a three-country tour. On Monday, he met with high-ranking Chinese officials, including Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui and senior atomic negotiator Wu Dawei, Yonhap reported. Davies will be visiting South Korea on Wednesday and Japan on Thursday, according to the State Department.
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