North Korea warns US, South Korea military drills escalate tension to ‘brink of a nuclear war’

North Korea on Thursday warned the United States and South Korea that their continued joint military exercises threaten security on the peninsula and could push tensions to the “brink of a nuclear war.”

Choe Ju Hyon, an international security analyst, said in a report in the North Korean state-run news outlet KCNA that “reckless military confrontational hysteria” from the U.S. and its allies is leading the region to “irreversible catastrophe.”

“The U.S. kicked off different largest-ever joint military drills against the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] simultaneously despite the latter’s repeated grave warnings, pushing the security situation of the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war,” the article states.

The warning comes after the U.S. and South Korea held their largest joint military drills in the Korean peninsula in five years last month, engaging in simulations and live demonstrations in the air and sea and on land.

North Korea responded by firing at least one missile from a submarine in the Sea of Japan.

U.S. and South Korean officials have said the military drills are defensive in nature, meant to plan for any possible invasion from the North, but North Korea has said they threaten the country’s security.

The article states that the U.S. and its allies are responsible for pushing the situation to “an extremely critical phase.” It said the number of U.S. troops in the area is enough to launch an “all-out” war and praised North Korea for “war deterrence,” saying it shows the country’s responsibility for and confidence in its “crucial mission.”

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