US to Carry Out Preemptive Nuclear Attack on North Korea?

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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | February 9, 2014 11:28 PM EST

In what can be yet another call to suspend the upcoming US-South Korea joint military drill, North Korea insists that the US is trying to carry out a preemptive nuclear attack on the country.

Reuters
South Korean soldiers from an artillery unit participate in a military drill near the demilitarised zone separating North Korea from the South, in Paju, north of Seoul March 29, 2013.

North's accusation, considered just another example of its infamous rhetoric expression, comes as South Korea and the US are scheduled to stage their annual Key Resolve command post exercise and Foal Eagle field training in late February.

"If the US is sincerely interested in peace and nuclear disarmament, it should not seek its ambition to carry out a pre-emptive nuclear attack against (North Korea)," the reclusive nation's state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Sunday. "The US should immediately suspend its nuclear war practice it is pushing to hold in South Korea."

On Wednesday, the two Koreas had agreed to reunite families estranged after the Korean War but North threatened to suspend the agreement the very next day, if the joint military drill goes ahead.

Read: Koreas Agree on Family Reunion in Late February; Was it a Deliberate Attempt to Coincide with US-South Korea Military Drill?

North has of late pressed South to scrap the drills and has condemned the event as a rehearsal for a nuclear war against them. Seoul and Washington have pledged to go ahead with the exercises, insisting they are defensive in nature.

North Korea, in January, had cited South Korea's annual joint military exercises with the US as a major reason why it would not cooperate on the family reunion bid. The reclusive communist nation had said that the reunions could not be held "amid gunfire," referring to the drills.

North has, in the past, shown hostility to the joint military exercise, despite Seoul's insistence that they are defensive in nature and not aimed at any war practices.

Last year, North issued a series of threats aimed at the joint military exercises, staged shortly after the controversial 12 February nuclear test. North Korea, at one point, even went to the extent of warning the two countries that it would reduce Seoul and Washington to a "sea of fire" with a nuclear attack.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
South Korean soldiers from an artillery unit participate in a military drill near the demilitarised zone separating North Korea from the South, in Paju, north of Seoul March 29, 2013.
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