North Korea Says It Is Being Pushed 'To Brink Of War' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

North Korea Says It Is Being Pushed 'To Brink Of War'

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- South Korea named a new defense minister Friday to replace the official who resigned Thursday amid heavy criticism due to North Korea's sinking of a warship in March and Tuesday's deadly shelling of an inhabited island.

South Korea's government nominated Kim Kwan Jin as defense minister, a Blue House media official told CNN.

The National Assembly will hold a confirmation hearing before Kim formally takes office.

Former Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, a former general, resigned after coming under heavy criticism for the sinking of the South Korean war ship Cheonan and again after North Korea struck Yeonpyeong Island on Tuesday.

The appointment comes amid continued war rhetoric from North Korea, which said Friday that South Korea and the United States are recklessly pushing the Korean peninsula toward war by scheduling a joint military drill for this weekend.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war due to the reckless plan of those trigger-happy elements to stage again the war exercises targeted against [North Korea] in wake of the grave military provocation they perpetrated against the territorial waters of [the North Korean] side in the West Sea," said the North's official KCNA news agency.

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