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N. Korea vows physical response to war games

SEOUL, Tuesday 1 March 2011 (AFP) - North Korea Tuesday threatened a military response to ongoing US-South Korean military drills, blasting them as preparations for a nuclear war of aggression against it.

Seoul and Washington say the annual war games which began Monday are routine and defensive in nature, but Pyongyang calls them a rehearsal for invasion.

A foreign ministry statement carried by the official news agency said the North had done its best to open dialogue without preconditions. But its army and people were expressing "irrepressible resentment" at the manoeuvres.

"Inevitable is the physical counter-action on the part of the army of the DPRK (North Korea) for self-defence," it said.

"The hard-won opportunity of dialogue and detente is fading away. The US should be wholly accountable for all the consequences to be entailed by its military provocations. The DPRK is ready for both dialogue and confrontation."

The North accused the United States of sparking tensions on the peninsula to set up an alliance with South Korea and Japan and establish military dominance in the region.

The ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said separately the North would react to the "US and the South Korean warmongers' vicious moves to escalate confrontation and their war racket with a decisive counter-action".

On Sunday the North's military had threatened to turn Seoul into a "sea of flames" in the event of any provocation from the exercises.

The Key Resolve/Foal Eagle drills are the first of their type since the communist state's deadly shelling of a South Korean border island last November.

They involve 12,300 US troops and some 200,000 South Korean service members including reservists.

MySinchew 2011.03.01


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