South Korean naval officers and sailors are bid farewell by soldiers before departing at Jeju Civil and Military Combined Port on July 18 to join the upcoming 2020 Rim of the Pacific exercise. (Yonhap)
A North Korean propaganda outlet on Wednesday condemned Seoul for participating in a US-led multinational maritime exercise slated to kick off next month, slamming it as “pro-US subservient policy.”
The Rim of the Pacific exercise is a biennial maritime exercise held in Hawaii to enhance the combined operational capabilities of South Korea, the US, Japan and other Pacific nations. South Korea is participating in the world’s largest international training exercise set to take place from Aug.17-31.
“This is clearly an invasive and provocative game of war intended to crush our republic and neighboring countries with force and to realize their ambition of dominating the Asia-Pacific region,” said Uriminzokkiri, one of the North’s propaganda websites.
In particular, the website attacked Seoul’s participation as “pro-US subservient policy” and “a war fanatic that jumps through hoops to follow any order from the US,” when the scope of the exercise was significantly reduced due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The North also claimed the US sees Seoul as nothing more than “a target for exploitation for their own interests,” citing Washington’s demand of a significant spike in Seoul’s cost for the upkeep of 28,500 strong US Forces Korea here and possible troop reduction.
Seoul last week sent two destroyers -- 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer Seoae Ryu Sung-ryong and 4,400-ton Chungmugong Yi Sun-shin -- and hundreds of troops to Hawaii to take part in the drill.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org