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North Korea Warns of “Shocking Punishment” Over Upcoming Drills: Top Official

Sung-Yoon Lee speaks with NK News about the latest remarks to come out of Pyongyang.

A high-ranking North Korean official who previously oversaw relations with the U.S. issued a statement on Thursday expressing hope that Washington and Pyongyang could restart their long-stalled diplomatic dialogue — and warned of “shocking punishment” if the U.S. goes through with a “hostile provocation” against the North.

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According to Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, the North’s recent statements are likely part of a calculated effort in Pyongyang to force the Trump Administration to back away from military drills with Seoul — and, perhaps, ultimately leave the Korean peninsula altogether.

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