North Korea threatens nuclear strike amid US-South Korea drill

Washington (CNN)The US and South Korean militaries started a massive joint annual exercise Monday, a drill that has drawn North Korean threats of nuclear retaliation.

North Korea will “turn the stronghold of provocation into a heap of ashes through Korean-style pre-emptive nuclear strike” if the US and South Korea “show the slightest sign of aggression” during the drill, a spokesman for North Korea’s military was quoted as saying by the country’s state media.


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“We always see North Korea threatening during US-(South Korea) annual military exercises” he said, adding that North Korea does “often provoke around the time of these exercises.”
But Cha noted a few differences this time around, including the fallout from “a very embarrassing high-level defection” and North Korea’s desire to try to gain leverage amid the upcoming US presidential elections.
“North Korea has a propensity to try and capture everyone’s attention,” Cha said.
The US military has also been beefing up its presence in the region, jointly deploying three strategic bombers, the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit, to the region for the first time.
When asked if the US was concerned about the increase is hostile rhetoric out of Pyongyang, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner answered, “There is always concern, but I don’t think that is going to keep us from moving forward.”

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