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Pyongyang warns of retaliatory strike as U.S.-South Korea kicks off annual military exercises

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides the 3rd Meeting of Activists of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in the Movement for Winning the Title of O Jung Hup-led 7th Regiment in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August 4, 2016. KCNA/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides the 3rd Meeting of Activists of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in the Movement for Winning the Title of O Jung Hup-led 7th Regiment in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August 4, 2016. KCNA/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.

Pyongyang: As the United States and South Korea kicked off annual military exercises on Monday, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday warned that its military is ready to mount a preemptive retaliatory strike.

“If they show the slightest sign of aggression on the inviolable land, seas and air where the sovereignty of the DPRK is exercised, it would turn the stronghold of provocation into a heap of ashes through Korean-style preemptive nuclear strike,” Xinhua quoted a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army’s statement as saying.

The statement said that military drill is a clear manifestation of a vicious plot to inflict misery of colonial rule over its countrymen.

Earlier, a spokesman for the DPRK Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country had also warned that the country will decisively foil all hostile acts and threat of aggression and provocation with the Korean-style nuclear deterrence.

Seoul and Washington each year conduct a number of joint military drills that they claim to be of defensive nature. However, Pyongyang says the annual war games are designed for invasion.(ANI)

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