North Korea threatens 'pre-emptive nuclear strike' amid US, South Korea drills
North Korea threatened Monday to turn Seoul and Washington into “a heap of ashes through a Korean-style pre-emptive nuclear strike” if they showed any signs of aggression toward the North’s territory during their annual military drills.
South Korea and the U.S. began the drills despite the threats. Pyongyang’s fiery rhetoric isn’t unusual, but the latest warning comes at a time of more tension following the defection of a senior North Korean diplomat and a U.S. plan to place a defense missile system in South Korea.
The North's "first-strike" units are read to mount retaliatory attacks on South Korean and U.S. forces involved in the drills, according to the statement, carried by Pyongyang's state media.