Pyongyang: North Korea on Monday lashed out at the upcoming American-South Korean war games, saying this was "a military provocation and a simulation of a nuclear war", according to a report circulated by the KCNA news agency.
In the opinion of the report`s authors, this large-scale exercise will be "a challenge to the entire world community, standing out for peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula”.
The war games will be detrimental to relations between the North and the South, "will bring the situation in the peninsula to the brink of war", the KCNA claimed.
Pyongyang was especially riled by the intention of Seoul and Washington to stage "Key Resolve" at the time when North Korean people "mourn as before in connection with the death of Kim Jong Il”.
The commentary stresses that "severe punishment is in store for those who whip up flames of aggression”.
The American-South Korean war games will be staged between February 27 and March 09. They will involve 200,000 South Korean men and officers as well as 2,100 American servicemen.
The exercise is held annually and is called upon to ensure readiness of the allies to protect South Korea and to maintain the might of the American-South Korean alliance, said commander of the joint armed forces of the two countries, General James Thurman.
North Korea has been blasting the exercise for many years, calling it a preliminary move to an invasion into the North and threatening with a powerful retaliatory strike in response to any provocation.