North Korea warns US of flirting with ‘red line’

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea’s foreign ministry said the United States and its allies were flirting with an “extreme red line” when the U.S. and South Korean armies held joint air exercises on Wednesday, threatening to turn the Korean peninsula into an all-out war zone.

In a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency, Pyongyang reiterated that it was not interested in any dialogue with Washington as long as the US administration maintained policies deemed “hostile” towards North Korea.

“The military and political situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region has reached an extreme red line due to reckless confrontational military maneuvers and hostile actions by the United States and its naval forces,” said an unidentified State Department spokesman.

This press release specifically cites the visit to Seoul this week by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who pledged with his South Korean counterpart to strengthen US-South Korea military exercises and to deploy more “strategic assets” against advances in the North. Korea’s programs.

(Reporting by Josh Smith; French version by Jean Terzian)

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