N. Korea vows retaliation against S. Korea, US over military drill

August 13, 2015
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) poses for a photo with soldiers in this photo released by the North`s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper. (Yonhap)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) poses for a photo with soldiers in this photo released by the North`s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) — North Korea threatened Thursday to retaliate against South Korea and the United States with “merciless blows” as Seoul and Washington are scheduled to kick off their joint military drill next week.

South Korea and the U.S. plan to start the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise Monday, which North Korea has denounced as a war rehearsal for an invasion of the North.

North Korea called the joint military drill “a declaration of war,” warning South Korea is within the sight of “ultra-precision striking means.”

“The DPRK is fully ready to counter any war method of the U.S. imperialists and has a muscle powerful enough to deter a nuclear war to be provoked by the U.S.,” read a statement by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

The DPRK is the acronym of North Korea’s official name: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The North’s threat came amid heightened military tension on the divided Korean Peninsula following an explosion of land mines near the inter-Korean border last week. Seoul blamed Pyongyang for the blast, calling on it to formally apologize for the incident that left one South Korean soldier without both legs and another without one.

South Korea resumed a propaganda loudspeaker campaign after 11 years on Monday, a kind of psychological warfare against the North, along the tensely guarded border in retaliation for the mine blasts.

The North has been silent about Seoul’s condemnation over the incident, but Pyongyang has spiked up its criticism of the upcoming military exercise between Seoul and Washington.

It said that if the U.S. and South Korea pre-empt an attack, North Korea’s army will decisively retaliate with “merciless blows.”

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