N. Korea Warns Against US-S. Korea Drills

    N. Korea Warns Against US-S. Korea Drills
    Last updated Feb 17, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via Daily Mail]


    • North Korea on Friday issued a warning through its state-run KCNA news agency that the US and South Korea will face "unprecedentedly persistent and strong counteractions" if their planned joint military exercises go ahead.[1]
    • This suggests North Korea's weapons tests, which have been suspended since it fired a short-range missile on New Year's Day, could resume. Pyongyang launched more than 70 missiles in 2022, a record for a single year.[2]
    • The statement didn’t refer to any specific exercise, but it accused Seoul and Washington of planning more than 20 rounds of combined military drills to "deliberately disrupt" regional peace and stability.[3]
    • Hours earlier, Seoul's defense ministry announced the US-South Korea Deterrence Strategy Committee Tabletop Exercise would take place at the Pentagon on Feb. 22, focusing on a potential North Korean nuclear threat.[4]
    • South Korea and the US are also preparing to hold 11-day springtime Freedom Shield joint drills in mid-March. North Korea has long condemned their joint military training as an invasion rehearsal.[5]
    • Meanwhile, on Thursday, South Korea published its biennial defense document, reportedly describing North Korea as an "enemy" for the first time in six years.[6]


    Establishment-critical narrative

    Although the joint military drills are being portrayed as a defensive response to alleged North Korean military threats, they need to be called out for what they really are – large-scale provocations. Rather than trying to de-escalate the situation with North Korea, the US has once again deliberately inflamed tensions in the region.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Joint drills between the US and South Korea won't be stopped just because North Korea throws a fit. The US is steadfast in its commitment to defending South Korea, and Kim's threats of military action — and increasingly worrisome nuclear tests — are unacceptable. The US and South Korea are rightly committed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 95% chance Kim Jong-un will remain the de facto leader of North Korea until at least January 1, 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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