In response to an ongoing military drill organized by South Korea and the U.S., Pyongyang has said it “reserves the right to undertake a preemptive action for self-defense against the enemy, at a crucial time it deems necessary to defend itself.”
Although the South holds a similar drill annually, tensions have been hot in the region because of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. North and South Korea have a combined total of about 1.9 million troops, most stationed near the border.
According to the official KCNA news agency, Pyongyang described the drills as “an undisguised military threat” and a “war action”.
US and South Korean troops began the military exercises on Monday.
The drills are an annual event, and the North usually issues a strongly-worded statement against them.
But this year, tensions are higher than normal because of international anger at the North’s recent decision to test-fire a series of missiles.