North Korea's leader has warned of an "all-out" war against the South while denouncing its ongoing joint military drill with the United States, state media said yesterday.
The US and South Korean militaries last Monday began a two-week exercise aimed at testing defences against the communist North, insisting it was defensive in nature but Pyongyang called it a drill for a preemptive nuclear attack.
More than 30,000 US troops, including most of those based in the South plus 3,000 from overseas, are taking part in the annual joint drill known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called the drill a grave threat and said his army was ready to deal "deadly blows" if their territory was violated during the exercise.
"If the enemies fire even a single shell on our inviolable territory ... the whole army should turn out as one and lead the battle to an all-out counter-offensive," said the leader, according to KCNA news agency.