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 8:27 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 10:07 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
President Barack Obama says he doesn't consider North Korea's hack of Sony Pictures "an act of war."
updated 5:43 PM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
The U.S. has asked China for help battling North Korean hacking of American information systems, a senior administration official tells CNN.
updated 6:35 PM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Alex Gladstein, director of institutional affairs at Human Rights Foundation, says he'd like "to disrupt North Korea and help end the Kim regime's monopoly of knowledge."
updated 10:43 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
North Korea's fury over the movie comedy "The Interview" appears to have taken the secretive state's oversensitivity to new extremes.
updated 6:36 PM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
CNN's Brian Todd looks into the possibility of whether North Korea received help from freelancers or other countries.
updated 8:57 PM EST, Mon December 8, 2014
A retired Silicon Valley executive and Korean War veteran was hauled off his plane at Pyongyang in 2013. Here's what happened next.
updated 5:57 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
A recent defector from North Korea tells of the harrowing escape into China via Chinese 'snakehead' gangs.
updated 7:39 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
CNN's Amara Walker speaks to a former North Korean prison guard about the abuses he witnessed and was forced to enact on prisoners.
updated 12:59 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
The chief of the Commission of Inquiry into North Korea's human rights says the world can no longer plead ignorance to the regime's offenses.
updated 7:34 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Kim Jong Il's former bodyguard tells of the beatings and starvation he endured while imprisoned in the country's most notorious prison camp.
updated 1:43 AM EDT, Sat October 11, 2014
Despite tense relations, China benefits from Kim Jong Un's rule in North Korea. David McKenzie explains.
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system" and citizens have "priceless political integrity", the country declared.
ADVERTISEMENT