Pyongyang, October 16 (IANS): Continuing its harsh anti-US rhetoric, North Korea has called President Donald Trump a “war merchant and strangler of peace”.
Trump’s administration is selling weapons to South Korea and Japan with the intent of enriching the makers of US arms while creating “a hair trigger situation” on the Korean Peninsula, said a commentary from state newspaper Rodong Sinmun posted by the Korean Central News Agency, CNN reported.
In September, a week after Pyongyang fired a test missile over Japan, Trump said that he would give the allies increased access to the US weaponry. “I am allowing Japan & South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States,” Trump tweeted on September 5.
South Korea was the fourth-largest recipient of American-made arms from 2011 to 2015, according to research compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Japan and South Korea are participants in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the most expensive weapons system in world history.
The North Korean commentary comes a day before a 10-day, US-South Korea military exercise is scheduled to begin around South Korea.
The drills, described as a maritime counter special operations exercise by the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, will include the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, two guided-missile destroyers, units from the South Korean air force and navy, and the US Army and US Air Force, according to a US statement.