PYONGYANG, North Korea, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- North Korea "sternly" warned the scheduled U.S.-South Korea military exercises could push the situation on the Korean Peninsula to a catastrophe.
In a lengthy statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, a spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said the announcement of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military exercises has "created such a deplorable situation in which huge aggression troops of the U.S. are deployed in areas close to the Military Demarcation Line."
The exercises are set to start late next month and go on until April.
"We sternly warn the U.S. and the South Korean authorities to stop the dangerous military exercises which may push the situation on the peninsula and the north-south ties to a catastrophe," the statement said.
The belligerent nuclear-armed Communist country, led by its unpredictable leader Kim Jong Un, said: "The United States and puppet warmongers are claiming that the purpose of the drill is to take control of nuclear facilities in the north and occupy Pyongyang in case of 'emergency in the North.'"
The statement said the North Korean leader in his New Year Address had clarified "the principled and sincere stand" to ease tension and ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula and improve the North-South relations.
However, it said the announcement of the drills "is little short of the declaration of a total nuclear stand-off," adding the drills will cause the North-South ties to plunge into "unimaginable holocaust and that disaster will follow should they go ahead with the nuclear war drills and make military provocation, defying our warning."
North Korea remains under tightened U.N. sanctions after it conducted its third nuclear test in February of last year. It has also warned of nuclear attacks on the United States and South Korea as it continues with its various acts of similar provocations.