MOSCOW (Sputnik) – North Korea’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ja Song Nam has sent a letter to the organization’s Security Council (UNSC) asking to discuss the ongoing joint US-South Korea drills considered by Pyongyang as a rehearsal for military action against North Korea, media reported Sunday.
The annual joint Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercise started in South Korea on Monday to last through August 31.
In a letter sent on Friday, Pyongyang requested to include the issue in the UNSC emergency agenda, South Korean Yonhap news agency reported, citing the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
If the UNSC chooses to ignore Pyongyang’s request, the organization will demonstrate abandoning its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, the letter reportedly read.
In its request to the UNSC, North Korea reiterated its position that the UFG military exercise will escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and accused Washington of intending to occupy the North by force, the reports added.
According to the US Department of Defense, in 2017 the drills will involve 17,500 US troops, staff from the South Korean military and government services and United Nations Command forces from seven countries, including Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been high over the recent months over Pyongyang nuclear and missile test including Saturday’s ballistic missiles launch. In June, China initiated a road map for the settlement of North Korean crisis, the so-called double freeze plan, which provides for the simultaneous cessation of North Korea’s nuclear activity and the US-South Korean military exercises. The initiative has been supported by Russia but rejected by the United States. North Korea has yet to issue a response to the proposal.