North Korea Threatens Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strikes Against U.S.

North Korea: We will deal 'merciless deadly blows'

Yonhap News Agency
SEOUL, March 7 -- North Korea threatened Monday to launch an all-out offensive against South Korea and the United States over their annual military drills in the latest warning amid heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula.

"The army and people of the (North) will take military counteraction for preemptive attack so that they may deal merciless deadly blows at the enemies," the North's powerful National Defense Commission said in an English-language statement carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency.

The commission also threatened the South, saying major South Korean targets are within the North's firing range and the North's nuclear strike means targeting the U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S. mainland are always ready to fire.

"If we push the buttons to annihilate the enemies even right now, all bases of provocations will be reduced to seas in flames and ashes in a moment," the commission said.

South Korea and the U.S. are preparing to launch their largest joint exercise ever that will involve more than 300,000 South Korean and 15,000 U.S. troops.

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