North Korea’s threat of retaliation with “tremendous muscle” against the U.S. for taking part in military exercises was restricted to jaw muscles only as the retaliation turned out to be blasted propaganda messages.
Just hours before the exercises began North Korea had threatened to “retaliate with tremendous muscle” if they were not cancelled. The joint U.S. and South Korean lead military exercises were described by both countries as an annual event designed to test military response readiness and also ensure Korean Peninsula stability.
A South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman said although the retaliation threats had not been taken too seriously, they had introduced somewhat of a realistic edge into the exercises with both the U.S and South Korean military taking “precautions” .
As the exercises were to begin, the first blasted propaganda messages started with: “The army and people of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) are no longer what they used to be in the past when they had to counter the U.S. nukes with rifles,” and then went on to describe North Korea’s military as “the invincible power equipped with both the latest offensive and defensive means unknown to the world ” .
Although the propaganda blasting can be viewed as bizarre, it is not a new phenomena as only last week South Korea, after an absence of ten years, resumed the psychological warfare campaign using similar broadcast tactics in what it said was in retaliation to a August landmine blasts that seriously injured two of its soldiers.
Although North Korea has denied it had planted the landmines on a South Korean patrol route in the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries, the United Nations Command said its investigation found it had.
A week after the landmine incident, South Korea started its propaganda broadcasts, angering North Korea, which threatened to destroy the huge loud speakers its neighbor had set up in the the demilitarized zone.
The demilitarized zone was established at the end of the Korean War in 1953. No formal peace treaty was signed at the time so technically North and South Korea have remained at war.
The joint military exercises include New Zealand, Australia, Columbia, Canada, France, Great Britain and the U.S. and run till August 28th.