N. Korea raps Seoul-Washington joint drill

North Korea on Sunday lambasted an annual joint military exercise to be staged by South Korea and the United States this week as an act of "adding fuel to the fire" on the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.

 

This combined image shows an annual joint military exercise, the Ulchi Freedom Guardian, that South Korea and the United States will stage from Aug. 21-31, 2017. (Yonhap)

This combined image shows an annual joint military exercise, the Ulchi Freedom Guardian, that South Korea and the United States will stage from Aug. 21-31, 2017. (Yonhap)

In an editorial, the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling party, said the U.S. moves to place the worst-ever sanctions on it and launch military provocations have made the situation on the peninsula extremely tense.

The allies' Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise will kick off Monday and run until Aug. 31. North Korea has long denounced the drills as a war rehearsal for a northern invasion.

"The joint exercise is the most explicit expression of hostility against us, and no one can guarantee that the exercise won't evolve into actual fighting," the report said.

"If the United States is lost in a fantasy that war on the peninsula is at somebody else's door far away from them across the Pacific, it is far more mistaken than ever," it also said.

Pyongyang conducted two tests of its long-range missile in July and had threatened to fire four ballistic missiles toward the U.S. territory of Guam. It backed off from the threat Tuesday after exchanges of belligerent rhetoric with the U.S.

The report also mentioned a meeting earlier this month between South Korean military leaders and Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, accusing the two allies of attempting a provocation against the North.

Separately, Pyongyang's propaganda website Uriminzokkiri said in a commentary that the U.S. and South Korea are staging an exercise to try to wage a nuclear war around the Koran Peninsula, warning, "The North Korean army is placing the South Korean military in its crosshairs.", source by the Yonhap.

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