Skip to main content

North Korea issues threat to U.S. military

By Ben Brumfield and KJ Kwon, CNN
updated 9:13 AM EST, Sat February 23, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The message was delivered over the phone in English, reports say
  • Such threat happen routinely before U.S.-South Korean exercises
  • The exercises come in the wake of a recent nuclear test in North Korea
  • South Korea's military is already in a state of heightened alert

(CNN) -- Ahead of annual, routine military exercises between South Korea and the United States, North Korea issued its usual caustic objections Saturday.

It threatened "miserable destruction," if "your side ignites a war of aggression by staging the reckless joint military exercises ... at this dangerous time."

Though customary, the stark posturing by North Korea stands in the shadow of an underground nuclear test two weeks ago that was preceded by the launch of a long-range missile capable of transporting a warhead.

The detonation of the nuclear charge was the third in Pyongyang's history and the first under supreme leader Kim Jong Un's rule. South Korea's military reacted with fierce military drills, including a public display of newly deployed cruise missiles with pinpoint accuracy.

It has been on heightened readiness ever since.

North Korea's nuclear ambitions
What exactly is North Korea capable of?
What North Koreans think about tests

The test also triggered a global wave of condemnation, including from Beijing, and plans for new sanctions against Pyongyang.

North Korea issued the objections to exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle scheduled for March and April to U.S. commander James D. Sherman, state run news agency KCNA reported.

The message was delivered over the phone in English, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

It also condemned the threat of new sanctions over North Korea's recent actions.

A United Nations military commission informed Pyongyang of the upcoming routine exercises, according to a joint statement from U.S. and South Korean military officials.

The commission also told North Korea that they are "not related with the current situations on the Korean Peninsula."

Around 10,000 U.S. forces will participate in Foal Eagle from March 1 to April 30. Key Resolve will involve 10,000 South Korean troops and 3,500 U.S. troops in exercises March 11 to 21.

Key Resolve will include U.N. troops and neutral supervisors.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
Experts warn that under Kim Jong Un's rule, Pyongyang has shown an even greater willingness to raise the stakes than before.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
China and North Korea criticize a U.N. report that found crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
updated 8:05 AM EDT, Mon March 17, 2014
Megumi Yokota was only 13 when she was abducted by a North Korean agent in the 1970s. What happened after that?
updated 12:30 AM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014
Report: North Korea uses multiple techniques to defy sanctions, and shows no signs of abandoning its nuclear missile programs.
updated 3:17 AM EST, Fri February 21, 2014
Families torn apart for more than 60 years -- separated by the Korean War -- began to reunite at a mountain resort in North Korea Thursday.
updated 6:50 AM EST, Tue February 18, 2014
A stunning catalog of torture and the widespread abuse of even the weakest of North Koreans reveal a portrait of a brutal state, the UN reported.
updated 11:31 PM EST, Mon February 17, 2014
Former prisoners in North Korea describe horrific stories of being tortured by authorities.
updated 10:27 AM EST, Fri February 14, 2014
Skiing is not the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about the isolated nation, but North Korea's ski resort is world class.
updated 10:15 PM EST, Fri February 7, 2014
American Kenneth Bae, who is being held in North Korea, has been moved from a hospital to a labor camp.
updated 9:13 PM EST, Tue January 7, 2014
Why is he being held by North Korea in a prison camp? These are the questions for many since his arrest in the isolated country in 2012.
updated 3:18 AM EST, Mon January 27, 2014
The first time the South Korean factory owner watched his North Korean employees nibble on a Choco Pie, they appeared shocked.
updated 8:26 PM EST, Tue January 7, 2014
Dennis Rodman's "Big Bang in Pyongyang" may be in a league of its own, but other stars too have mixed with repressive regimes before.
updated 1:00 PM EST, Thu December 19, 2013
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrives in North Korea to train basketball players, state-run media reports.
updated 9:50 PM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
The nation held a memorial in the honor of former North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il on the second anniversary of his death.
updated 10:58 AM EST, Fri December 13, 2013
Days after he was removed from his powerful military post, Jang Song Thaek was called a traitor and executed.
ADVERTISEMENT