North Korea has warned that it will launch nuclear strikes on the US and South Korea.
The order for a “pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice” was made in a statement which was put out by Pyongyang, the Capital of North Korea.
Such rhetoric is not uncommon, and experts doubt the North’s ability to put nuclear warheads on its missiles.
The military exercises, involving more than 300,000 personnel, were annual events and always generate tension.
The BBC reported that North Korea sees the annual US-South Korean war games as a rehearsal for invasion.
The South’s Defence Ministry had warned Pyongyang against any “rash act that brings destruction upon itself.”
The latest exercises came 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.
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.
Seoul is expected to announce more sanctions of its own on Tuesday, which is likely to draw another angry response from Pyongyang.
The US and South Korea on Friday, also began formal talks on the deployment of a US missile defence system to the peninsula, a move strongly opposed by North Korea, Russia and China.
Beijing said that the Thaad anti-missile system compromised its security and would undermine its nuclear deterrent.
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