The National Defense Commission of North Korea described the maneuvers of “war hysteria unforgivable”. Pyongyang believes it is a “declaration of war in disguise.”
February 20, Armed Forces South held maneuvers accompanied by live fire in the area of Yeonpyeong Island, in the Yellow Sea near the disputed border with the North. Shortly after Pyongyang notified Seoul was the beginning of the maneuvers, the North Korean authorities have described as “premeditated military provocation” and warned that Pyongyang would use armed force in case of aggression against North Korea.
The tension between the two Koreas has persisted since the Korean War (1950 – 1953) which ended in a truce without any peace treaty has been signed. The United States, whose troops fought in Korea under the aegis of the UN, refused to sign a peace agreement with North Korea or to recognize it officially, and maintain about 28,000 soldiers in southern peninsula Korean.