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North Korea warns of 'merciless pre-emptive strike' against U.S. and South Korea

The United States and South Korea have launched one of their annual military exercises — and North Korea would like to "re-clarify" a few things.

"Now that the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces declared a war against the DPRK by announcing their plan to apply the 'tailored deterrence strategy' to an actual war, we re-clarify that the Korean-style most powerful and advanced merciless pre-emptive strike will start any time chosen by us," declared an ominous statement from North Korea's General Staff of the Korean People's Army, alluding to a similar threat it made in April to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S.

"If we strike the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces, they should be hit hard without any excuse, and if we are determined, large and small bases for aggression will be reduced to a sea in flames and ashes."

The annual exercise between the U.S. and South Korea lasts two weeks and involves more than 30,000 Americans and 50,000 South Koreans. Monitored by Sweden and Switzerland, it is supposed to prepare both U.S. and South Korea militaries to work together to defend against a North Korea attack.