North Korea warns South of ‘catastrophic’ consequences of U.S. drills

South Korea recently deployed four Wildcat helicopters to be used for anti-submarine warfare. North Korea denounced the military buildup on the peninsula on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Republic of Korea Defense Acquisition Program Agency

Feb. 2 (UPI) — North Korea warned South Korea of a “catastrophic outcome” if Seoul goes ahead with plans to conduct joint military exercises with the United States.

A spokesman for Pyongyang’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said in a statement issued Wednesday the drills will generate more conflict.

“The problem is the South Korean government, in defiance of the atmosphere, is already making a fuss about taking the path to push ahead with Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises in March and bring in again U.S. nuclear strategic assets,” the statement read. “It’s needless to say what catastrophic outcome could result when such nuclear war rehearsals take place in front of us at a time our strategic status has changed.”

North Korea also claimed South Korea was facing domestic instability, following the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye and warned of “unimaginable conflicts and war.”

Tensions have risen on the peninsula since Kim Jong Un announced he is ready to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.

South Korea is wary of missile and North Korea submarine threats, and for the first time deployed AgustaWestland’s Wildcat maritime helicopters to be used for anti-submarine warfare.

The first four helicopters were deployed Wednesday, and the remaining four are to be placed in position in July, South Korean newspaper Donga Ilbo reported.

Wildcat helicopters can be used to detect enemy ships and submarines. Anti-submarine torpedoes can be mounted on the helicopter, and an integrated dipping sonar system has a detection capability four times more powerful than the technology made for the Lynx helicopter, according to the report.

On Wednesday, a drill was held in southeastern South Korea to train pilots in detecting North Korea submarines using two Wildcat helicopters.


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