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North Korea slams U.S. exercises with South

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The joint drills are an effort to find a pretext for war, Pyongyang state media says
  • The United States and South Korea are conducting joint exercises amid high tension

(CNN) -- North Korea sharply criticized U.S. and South Korean military drills Sunday in a statement issued several hours after the exercises began.

North Korea's state-run KCNA news service said the exercises in the Yellow Sea are "no more than an attempt to find a pretext for aggression and ignite a war at any cost" and said they "are putting the Korean Peninsula at a state of ultra-emergency."

KCNA said the United States and South Korea would be "held accountable for having escalated the tension in the Korean Peninsula and the rest of northeast Asia."