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N.K. vows retaliatory nuke strikes against U.S. threat

All Headlines 14:49 October 05, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is ready to mercilessly make retaliatory nuclear strikes against the United States if it seeks to stage preemptive attacks on the North, the country's state media said Wednesday.

The North's latest threat came in response to Seoul and Washington's joint naval drills which were conducted last week in the East Sea as a show of force against Pyongyang's fifth nuclear test. The exercises involved training for precision strikes on key land-based targets.

The Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, condemned the two nations' drills, saying in its commentary that the move is an "advance preparation for mounting a preemptive attack" on North Korea.

"If the aggressors and provocateurs dare mount a preemptive attack on the DPRK, they will not be able to escape a merciless, nuclear retaliatory strike of justice," the newspaper said.

The DPRK is the acronym for the North's official name -- the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In September, an independent task force report from the Council on Foreign Relations, suggested that Washington, Seoul and Tokyo should send a strong message to the North that future aggression will meet strong responses, including "strikes against military targets inside North Korea."

South Korea has not had any discussions with the U.S. over a possible preemptive strike on the North, Seoul's ambassador to Washington Ahn Ho-young said during a parliamentary audit of his embassy on Monday.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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