TIME Asia

Kim Jong Un: The Situation on the Korean Peninsula Is ‘Very Grave’

North Korea
Kim Jong Un salutes during a military parade. He accused the U.S. of trying to "crush" North Korea militarily Kyodo News—Associated Press

North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un blames the rise in tensions on the U.S. and South Korea during a meeting with top military leaders, just days after the two Koreas traded fire at sea and Pyongyang threatened to test a new nuclear weapon

North Korea’s leader warned Tuesday that the current situation with South Korea has become “very grave,” Agence France-Presse reports.

Kim Jong Un made the statement at a meeting with top military leaders one day after his country and South Korea traded artillery fire at sea and two days after North Korea said it would test a new kind of nuclear weapon. According to the North Korean leader, the joint-military drills between South Korea and the U.S. are to blame for the rise in tensions.

“The United States and other hostile forces, ignoring our magnanimity and goodwill, are viciously stepping up their maneuvers in order to annihilate our republic politically, isolate it economically and crush it militarily,” Kim Jong Un said at the meeting, according to the official North Korean news agency KCNA.

The surge in tensions between the two Koreas comes a month after a rare thaw in relations. February saw both the first family reunions in four years and the first high-level meeting in six years.

[AFP]

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