North Korea warns US of nuclear capability
AFP · 3 Mar 2015, 15:52
Published: 03 Mar 2015 15:52 GMT+01:00
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Speaking before the UN Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Ri Su-yong said the military exercises that kicked off Monday were "unprecedentedly provocative in nature" and could spark a war.
"The DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) cannot but bolster its nuclear deterrent capability to cope with the ever-increasing nuclear threat of the US," he said.
"Now the DPRK has the power of deterring the US and conducting a pre-emptive strike as well if necessary."
The annual joint exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula.
North Korea fired two short-range Scud missiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday, and South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday that Pyongyang may be readying to test fire a medium-range missile.
Missile tests have long been a preferred North Korean method of expressing anger and displeasure with what it views as confrontational behaviour by the South and its allies.
Seoul and Washington insist the exercises are defence-based in nature, but they are regularly condemned by Pyongyang as provocative rehearsals for invasion.