North Korean Deputy Ambassador Ri Jang Gon today accused South Korea and the US of fueling the growing crisis on the Korean Peninsula, prompting a rejection from the US and an allegation of “propaganda” from his South Korean counterpart.
But putting aside disputes over blame, it is extremely difficult to dispute Ri’s general thesis, that tensions are on the rise, and there is no reason to doubt his estimation that “a war may break out any moment.”
At dispute is the South Korean claim that North Korea attacked and sank one of their warships in March, an allegation which North Korea claims is based on “faked” evidence.
The US has promised absolute backing for South Korea over the dispute, and has vowed to see “consequences” inflicted on North Korea, though given the nation’s long-standing isolation it is unclear what measures the US could possibly impose.
The tensions have seen North Korea pull out of a Naval Safeguards agreement with its rival to the south, which in and of itself could kick off a renewal of the Korean War, which never formally ended but has been in ceasefire for over half a century.