N Korea threatens US and South with "indiscriminate" nuclear strikes
March 7, Seoul: North Korea has threatened "indiscriminate" nuclear strikes against South Korea and the US if they push ahead with joint military drills, media reports said.
The exercises, this year involving more than 300,000 personnel, are an annual event and always generate tension.
These latest exercises - called Foal Eagle and Key Resolve - will involve about 300,000 South Korean troops and 15,000 US personnel, the largest ever such operation.
The order for a "pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice" was made in a statement put out by Pyongyang.
Such rhetoric is not uncommon, and experts doubt the North's ability to put nuclear warheads on its missiles.
Last year, North Korea threatened to turn Washington into a "sea of fire".
North Korea sees the annual US-South Korean war games as a rehearsal for invasion.
They come just days after the UN passed new sanctions against North Korea following its recent nuclear test and rocket launch.
On Saturday, the Philippines impounded a North Korean cargo vessel under the toughened measures. A presidential spokesman said the crew would be deported and the ship subject to a UN-mandated inspection, BBC news reported.
The Oslo Times