N Korea army drill tar­gets South’s pres­i­den­tial of­fice

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

South Korea warned yes­ter­day of “fa­tal” con­se­quences for Py­ongyang’s lead­er­ship if pro­voked into con­flict, af­ter North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un over­saw a mil­i­tary drill sim­u­lat­ing an at­tack on Seoul’s pres­i­den­tial Blue House. Kim watched with binoc­u­lars as North Korea’s spe­cial op­er­a­tion forces con­ducted an ex­er­cise aimed at “de­stroy­ing spec­i­fied tar­gets of the en­emy”, in­clud­ing the Blue House, the North’s KCNA news agency said.

The rul­ing Work­ers’ Party news­pa­per Rodong Sin­mun also car­ried a two-page re­port on the drill, show­ing pic­tures of a build­ing re­sem­bling the Blue House be­ing over­run by North Korean troops and set ablaze. One photo showed Kim roar­ing with laugh­ter as he watched the sim­u­lated at­tack. “Well done, the en­emy troops will have no space to hide them­selves, far from tak­ing any coun­ter­ac­tion,” state-run KCNA quoted Kim as say­ing.

No date was given for the mil­i­tary ex­er­cise in yes­ter­day’s re­port. The South Korean mil­i­tary “strongly con­demned” the drill, warn­ing there would be fa­tal con­se­quences if con­fronted by the North. “If the en­emy con­ducts a provo­ca­tion based on its rash judg­ment, we will strongly and firmly re­tal­i­ate with a fa­tal blow against the North Korean lead­er­ship,” the de­fense min­istry’s joint chiefs of staff said in a state­ment. There are grow­ing con­cerns of fresh provo­ca­tions by Py­ongyang fol­low­ing Fri­day’s im­peach­ment of South Korean Pres­i­dent Park Geun-Hye which has left the coun­try with­out a rec­og­nized leader.

Prime Min­is­ter Hwang Kyo-Ahn, who has tem­po­rar­ily taken on the role and au­thor­ity of act­ing pres­i­dent, held an emergency cab­i­net meet­ing and or­dered the mil­i­tary to be extra vig­i­lant against the North. North Korea has con­ducted two nu­clear tests al­ready this year and mul­ti­ple mis­sile launches in its push for a weapon ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing a nu­clear war­head to the US main­land. The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil slapped its tough­est sanc­tions yet on the North last month over its fifth nu­clear test in Septem­ber, cap­ping the North’s an­nual coal ex­ports-its top ex­ter­nal rev­enue source.

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