PYONGYANG, March 6, 2016 – North Korea has threatened an offensive nuclear strike in response to a joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises which began today.
The National Defense Commission of North Korea announced on the state-run Korean Central News Agency,”As the joint military exercises to be staged by the enemies are regarded as the most undisguised nuclear war drills aimed to infringe upon the sovereignty of the DPRK, its military counteraction will be more preemptive and offensive nuclear strike to cope with them.”
The threat comes a week after the Security Council voted to impose an array of sanctions against North Korea because of that nation’s recent nuclear test and missile launch, both of which defied international sanctions. The resolution that brought about the sanctions aims to cripple the economic factors that fuel the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The North Korean news agency blasted sanctions calling it “unprecedented and gangster-like.” The North responded to the sanctions by saying it was readying nuclear weapons for “pre-emptive” use, and by firing short-range missiles into the sea. The US and South Korea on Friday also began formal talks on the deployment of the US missile defense system to the peninsula, a move strongly opposed by North Korea, Russia and China.
KCNA went on its usual rhetorical flourishes about “how the crime-woven history of the U.S. imperialists” have created a country that has “grown corpulent.” It also referred to South Korea as “the Park Geun Hye group,” saying that the South Korean president’s government is living its “disgraceful remaining days [that] will meet a miserable doom.” Pyongyang said it had successfully launched an Earth satellite into orbit via the long-range Kwangmyongsong carrier rocket.
CNN pointed out that North Korea has made threats like this one before.