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An American Aegis destroyer, the John S. McCain, arrives in Korea before tomorrow's operations. AP/PA
North Korea

North Korea goes nuclear over American 'provocation'

That doesn’t sound good.

NORTH KOREA says it will offer a “powerful” nuclear response if the United States and South Korea continue their military exercises.

Pyongyang sees the joint exercises as “unpardonable provocation” and as a rehearsal on the part of South Korea for an attack on the North.

In a statement issued by the National Defenece Commission, the North pledged to “counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises.

“The more desperately the US imperialists brandish their nukes and the more zealously their lackeys follow them, the more rapidly [North Korea's] nuclear deterrence will be bolstered up along the orbit of self-defence and the more remote the prospect for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula will be become,” it added.

North Korea commonly threatens physical responses for South Korean military exercises but does not usually refer to such actions as a “retaliatory sacred war”.

The South and the United States begin an operation tomorrow which involves a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier as well as 8,000 troops from the two countries, 20 ships and 200 aircraft.

Relations in the Korean peninsula have been strained since 46 Southerners were killed when a boat was torpedoed in March. The North denies any involvement.

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