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Anticipating war, North Korea conducts evacuation drills


Following North Korea’s threat to detonate another hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, U.S. officials who have visited Seoul ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned Asia trip have not hesitated to return the threat at Pyongyang. On Sunday, following America’s threat, North Korea conducted mass evacuation drills in secondary and tertiary cities and towns, particularly along the east coast, across the country. According to Chun In-bum, a former South Korean military officer, “I have never heard of this type of training exercises before in North Korea, but am not surprised. They must realize how serious the situation is”. The drills are being seen as a preparation of war, and come at a time of heightening tensions between the hermit state and the U.S. after a series of nuclear and missile tests, including the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking mainland America. On Saturday, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis held a meeting with his counterpart, Defence Minister Song Young-moo during a trip to the South Korean capital, Seoul. Mattis warned that the U.S. would never accept a nuclear north and that dictator Kim Jong Un was overmatched by American firepower. The unusual North Korean drills have divided experts too, who are wondering whether the drills are a sign that the regime feels more threatened than before, or wants to create the perception that it is taking care of its citizens. Meanwhile, Christopher Green, a PhD candidate at University of Leiden, Germany, has argued that it was unclear “whether genuine security concerns are driving this, or the wish to portray the image of a government that has concerns over security.”Reports also emerged on Sunday, stating that the Pentagon is preparing to conduct a huge missile defense drill at its base in the Reagan Test Site in the Pacific.

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