Declaring that it is ready to launch a “retaliatory sacred war”, the NDC said that the joint naval exercises aim “to stifle the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [North Korea] by force of arms to all intents and purposes”.
"The army and people of the DPRK will legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the US and the South Korean puppet forces," the committee declared.
Washington and Seoul say the exercises are a bid to deter Pyongyang’s “aggressive” behaviour after March’s sinking of a South Korean warship in which 46 people died. They blame North Korea for the attack, but it denies being responsible and cites a UN Security Council statement which did not identify a culprit.
The argument has dominated the Hanoi Asia-Pacific security forum, at which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui-Chun are present.
China has warned against holding the exercises, while the US has increased sanctions against North Korea.