North Korea has condemned the US and South Korean armies after they were spotted performing joint military exercises and threatened to turn both armies into “a heap of ashes”.
The United States and South Korea kicked off their annual military exercises today, prompting warnings of retaliation from the North – in the form of a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
Tension is already heightened on the peninsula after the defection of a Pyongyang diplomat.
About 25,000 U.S. troops are joining in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, which runs until September 2.The U.S.-led U.N. Command Military Armistice Commission said it notified the North Korean army the exercises were “non-provocative” in nature.
“From this moment, the First Strike Combined Units of the Korean People’s Army are fully ready to mount a pre-emptive retaliatory strike at all enemy attack groups involved in Ulji Freedom Guardian,” said the North’s state-run television KRT news reader, quoting a statement of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) spokesman.
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