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North Korea ready to 'take measures' against U.S. sanctions and joint drills with South Korea

By Jennie Oh
North Korea ready to 'take measures' against U.S. sanctions and joint drills with South Korea
View of a government building on Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. File photo by Maxim Tupikov/Shutterstock

SEOUL, March 3 (UPI) -- North Korea will "take its own measures" against the United States if sanctions and joint military drills with South Korean troops continue, Pyongyang's state media said.

The Korean Central News Agency published a commentary on Saturday, noting that the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises jointly held by South Korean and U.S. troops are set to be held next month.

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The two annual springtime drills were delayed this year to avoid an overlap with the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Gams, during which South Korean President Moon Jae-in hoped to defuse tensions with the North.

"The U.S. has continued to prattle on about holding joint military drills, and by announcing the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills will be held normally in April, it has clearly shown its inner desire to bring dark clouds of war to the Korean Peninsula," it said.

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The news agency warned that the regime would not threaten any country or area with its nukes but it would "firmly respond" to "invasive enemy forces" that "destroy the peace and security of the Korean peninsula.

Regarding U.S. President Donald Trump's remarks on possibly adding stronger sanctions on the North, including a naval blockade, the commentary said Washington is "raging with lunacy for a clash amid the the continued easing of the atmosphere on the peninsula."

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"If Washington continues to hang onto its sanctions and pushes ahead with the joint military drills, we will take our own method of response to rein in the U.S., which will take full responsibility for all ramifications," it said.

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The commentary comes after North Korea's representative to the Conference on Disarmament sponsored by the United Nations declared Pyongyang is ready to respond to any military provocations or sanctions from the U.S.

Yonhap reported Saturday that Han Tae-song said in a Geneva conference last Tuesday that the North's nuclear weapons are a means of protecting its sovereignty and national security against the "harsh hostile policy and nuclear threat of the U.S.

In order to defend itself from such threats, Han said the North "had access to nuclear weapons" and it won't hesitate to respond to any confrontations from Washington.

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