Saturday, July 24, 2010

North Korea Vows Nuclear Response to U.S.-Seoul Drills

Via -

North Korea warned Saturday that it will respond with "powerful nuclear deterrence" to joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises poised to begin this weekend, saying the drills amount to a provocation that cannot be ignored.

North Korea routinely threatens war when South Korea and the U.S. hold joint military drills, which Pyongyang sees as a rehearsal for an attack on the North. The latest threat comes amid increased tensions on the peninsula over the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship that Seoul and Washington blame on Pyongyang.


North Korea vehemently denies any involvement and says any punishment would trigger war.

On Saturday, North Korea's powerful National Defense Commission — headed by leader Kim Jong Il — backed that threat up by promising a "retaliatory sacred war" against South Korea and the U.S. for what it called a second "unpardonable" provocation after wrongly accusing the North in the Cheonan incident.

"The army and people of the (North) will legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises," the commission said in a statement carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency.

A day earlier in Hanoi, a North Korean spokesman for the delegation attending a regional security conference warned the drills would draw a "physical response" from Pyongyang.

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