North Korea has pledged to improve its ability to launch “pre-emptive” strikes as joint war games kick off between Seoul and Washington, insisting the yearly drills only threaten the stability and propel tensions in the region.

Iran PressAsia: Kim Yo-jong, sister to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a top official in the ruling Workers Party, condemned the military drills on Tuesday, saying they demonstrate a “hostile policy” by the US and South Korea and effectively simulate an invasion of the north. She added that Pyongyang would expand its defensive capabilities in response.

Kim Yo Jong’s statement came after South Korean media reported the allied militaries will begin four days of preliminary training on Tuesday before holding computer-simulated drills on Aug. 16-26.

Kim said she was delegated authority to release the statement, implying the message came directly from her brother.

She described the South’s decision to hold joint exercises despite earlier warnings by the North as “perfidious behavior” that will push the allies into facing a “more serious security threat.”

She said continuing the drills exposed the hypocrisy of the Biden administration’s offers to resume dialogue over the North’s nuclear weapons program. She said there won’t be stabilized peace on the Korean Peninsula unless the United States withdraws its troops and weapons in the South. 219