N Korea warns of strike over drill
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (front) has reportedly threatened retaliation if the drills intrude on North Korean territory. REUTERS photoU.S. and South Korean forces have begun military exercises on the Korean peninsula amid warnings from Pyongyang that the drills should not go ahead.
North Korea’s new leader has ordered “a powerful retaliatory strike” by the army unit that shelled a South Korean island in 2010 if U.S.-South Korea drills violate Pyongyang’s territory, state media said Feb. 26. The comments came a day before the start of Key Resolve, a joint U.S.-South Korea computerized command post exercise, which will continue until March 9.
The North has denounced the annual drill as a “silent declaration of war.” Kim Jong-un was quoted as saying the area was a “hot spot where a war may break out any moment,” urging troops to stay alert over “the enemy’s preparations for a new war of aggression.” South Korea said the annual exercises with its key ally were defensive, the BBC reported Feb. 26. More than 2,000 Americans are taking part, including 800 based outside South Korea.