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Saturday, March 12, 2016, 13:21

DPRK threatens preemptive retaliatory strikes

By Xinhua
DPRK threatens preemptive retaliatory strikes
People walk by a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Seoul, South Korea, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon)

PYONGYANG, March 12 -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Saturday that the military will prepare for "preemptive retaliation strikes" as ongoing joint military exercises by South Korea and the United States continue.

"The prevailing grave situation makes all the service personnel of the Korean People's Army (KPA) discard the patience which they have long exercised," said a statement issued by the General Staff of the KPA and carried by the official news agency KCNA.

The statement threatened that the country's combat units in the eastern, central and western sectors of its front are preparing to carry out "the operation for preemptive retaliatory strikes" at those involved in the Ssangyong landing drill to be carried out by South Korean and American forces.

Slated on Saturday, the exercise is a major part of the new Operation Plan 5015, which was formally approved by Seoul and Washington last June. Pyongyang said that the operation is aimed at removing the DPRK leadership and destroying its weapons of mass destruction.

The statement said the military will immediately "contain and wipe out the armed forces and strike means" before they are mobilized once the DPRK has judged that the enemies intend to intrude onto its territory, no matter by air or by sea.

The KPA will counter the landing drill with the "operation to liberate the whole of South Korea including Seoul" and will launch an "ultra-precision blitzkrieg strike," it warned.

KCNA reported on Friday that the country's top leader Kim Jong Un has ordered all nuclear means targeting South Korea and US military bases in the Asia Pacific region to be ready for action.

Kim has also said his country's nuclear warheads have been miniaturized to fit atop ballistic missiles.

On Monday when the South Korea-US joint war games kicked off, the DPRK's National Defense Commission warned that the army and people of the DPRK will prepare for a preemptive attack and "launch an all-out offensive" to cope with the drills.

The joint military exercises codenamed "Key Resolve" and "Foal Eagle" will run through April 30 and are reported to be the allies' largest-ever and have mobilized the most advanced weapons.

The drills, involving some 3,000 South Korean Marine Corps troops and around 2,000 Navy sailors along with about 7,000 US Marines personnel, are feared by many to worsen the tense situation in the Korean Peninsula.

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