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North Korea threatens strikes over South Korea propaganda broadcasts, warns US
Failure to do so would trigger “an all-out military action of justice to blow up all means for ‘anti-North psychological warfare’ in all areas along the front,” the command said in a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency.
The action will involve “indiscriminate strikes which envisage even possible challenge and escalating counteraction,” the statement said.
The threat came a day after North Korea said it would turn Seoul into a “sea of fire” if South Korean activists continue the practice of launching anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border by helium balloon.
The nuclear-armed North regularly ups its bellicose rhetoric before and during the joint military exercises South Korea holds with its US ally every year, but rarely follows through on its threats
The last direct attack on the South was in 2010 when the North shelled a South Korean border island, killing four people.
Monday sees the start of the two week-long “Ulchi Freedom” drill which involves tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops in a wargame that simulates an invasion by North Korea.
– Nuclear threats –
On Saturday, the North’s powerful National Defence Commission threatened the United States with the “strongest military counter-action” should the joint exercise go ahead.
The North Korean army and people “are no longer what they used to be in the past when they had to counter the US nukes with rifles,” the commission said in a statement.
It is now an “invincible power equipped with both latest offensive and defensive means … including nuclear deterrence,” it said.
In a special Liberation Day address in Seoul, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said the recent landmine attack was a serious breach of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, and vowed a tough response to any further provocation by the North.
North Korea must wake up from its daydream that it can maintain its regime through provocations and threats … these will only lead to isolation and destruction,” Park said.
Because the armistice was never replaced by a full peace treaty, the two Koreas technically remain at war.