North Korea has yet again warned of carrying out military strikes against the ongoing US-South Korea joint military exercises in the region. This is not the first time Pyongyang is threatening to employ military action against the drills – which the North considers are a rehearsal for an actual invasion.
In its latest warning, the state's main mouthpiece Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has issued a dispatch cautioning the US and South Korea not to press ahead with the annual event or face consequences.
The KCNA said Washington and Seoul need to be "mindful that nuclear-powered carriers and all other strategic assets of the US imperialists are in sight of the Korean People's Army's powerful ultra-precision strike means".
It emphasised that "merciless ultra-precision strikes" would be carried out by the North Korea ground and naval forces if its adversaries attempt to penetrate the North's sovereignty.
The US and South Korea have started annual military exercises codenamed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle. While Key Resolve is a computer-simulated exercises that would continue for two weeks, Foal Eagle could run up to April and could see tens of thousands of American and South Korean troops gather to boost their defence capabilities.
This year, Washington has incorporated the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and the sophisticated F-35B stealth jet for this year's exercises amid existing tensions in the Korean peninsula.
"This [the deployment of strategic assets] vividly shows that the U.S. imperialists' reckless scheme for a pre-emptive strike at the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea – the official name of North Korea] is going into practice in actuality," the KCNA said.