North Korea warns U.S. forces of "destruction" ahead of war drills

SEOUL Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:41pm IST

A visitor walks past North Korea's Russian made Scud-B ballistic missile (C in grey) and South Korea's U.S. made Hawk surface-to-air missiles at the Korean War Memorial Museum in Seoul February 15, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

A visitor walks past North Korea's Russian made Scud-B ballistic missile (C in grey) and South Korea's U.S. made Hawk surface-to-air missiles at the Korean War Memorial Museum in Seoul February 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

Related Topics

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea on Sunday warned the top U.S. military commander stationed in South Korea that his forces would "meet a miserable destruction" if they go ahead with scheduled military drills with South Korean troops, North Korean state media said.

Pak Rim-su, chief delegate of the North Korean military mission to the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, gave the message by phone to Gen. James Thurman, the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, KCNA news agency said.

It came amid escalating tension on the divided Korean peninsula after the North's third nuclear test earlier this month, in defiance of U.N. resolutions, drew harsh international condemnation.

A direct message from the North's Panmunjom mission to the U.S. commander is rare.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The U.S.-South Korean Combined Forces Command is holding an annual computer-based simulation war drill, Key Resolve, from March 11 to 25, involving 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 U.S. troops.

The command also plans to hold Foal Eagle joint military exercises involving land, sea and air manoeuvres. About 200,000 Korean troops and 10,000 U.S. forces are expected to be mobilized for the two month-long exercise which starts on March 1.

"If your side ignites a war of aggression by staging the reckless joint military exercises...at this dangerous time, from that moment your fate will be hung by a thread with every hour," Pak was quoted as saying.

"You had better bear in mind that those igniting a war are destined to meet a miserable destruction."

Washington and Seoul regularly hold military exercises which they say are purely defensive. North Korea, which has stepped up its bellicose threats towards the United States and South Korea in recent months, sees them as rehearsals for invasion.

North Korea threatened South Korea with "final destruction" during a debate at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday. (Reporting by Sung-won Shim; Editing by Nick Macfie)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Legal Complaints

Legal Complaints

Government's payday from telecoms auction could be delayed  Full Article 

Running State Banks

Running State Banks

India signals private-sector bosses could run state-owned banks  Full Article 

India Forecast Raised

India Forecast Raised

S&P raises India's GDP forecasts, says it's a bright spot in Asia  Full Article 

StanChart CEO

StanChart CEO

StanChart picks ex-JPMorgan exec Winters as CEO to replace Sands  Full Article 

Wockhardt Plant

Wockhardt Plant

Wockhardt says FDA raises new concerns about Waluj plant  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

State-owned banks' capital needs may be higher - RBI deputy  Full Article 

Shares Sale

Shares Sale

Bharti Airtel says raised $310 mln through share sale in tower unit  Full Article 

Inflation Target

Inflation Target

India should meet RBI inflation target by Jan 2016 - RBI deputy  Full Article 

International Exchange

International Exchange

NSE plans to set up international exchange in Gujarat  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage