WITH the US and South Korea set to begin their annual military exercises yesterday, North Korea has threatened "pre-emptive" nuclear strikes against the two allies.
Although such threats have been made before by Pyongyang - particularly around the time of the exercises - tensions have been higher than normal after the imposition of tougher sanctions last week by the United Nations Security Council on the closed nation.
The sanctions are aimed at punishing and halting the development of North Korea's nuclear and missile development.
The National Defence Commission of North Korea described the joint military exercises as undisguised nuclear war drills aimed at infringing upon the sovereignty of North Korea, and threatened an offensive nuclear strike.
"The indiscriminate nuclear strike … will clearly show those keen on aggression and war the military mettle of (North Korea).
"If we push the buttons to annihilate the enemies even right now, all bases of provocations will be reduced to seas of flames and ashes in a moment."
The threats come days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's order to the military to get the country's nuclear arsenal ready for use "at any moment".
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