North Korea warns of 'merciless strike' on United States ahead of military drills

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North Korea has warned Donald Trump that there is nowhere in America that can avoid a “merciless strike” ahead of US plans to conduct  joint military drills with South Korea.

Pyongyang said the military exercises, which are due to begin on Monday, were examples of the “foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” and would lead to a nuclear war.

The United States will launch the ten-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercise with South Korea this week, with thousands of troops set to take part.

It comes amid heightening tensions between the opposing states, with United States officials furious at recent missile tests by the brutal regime.

Washington has described the drills as “defensive in nature”, but Pyongyang has denounced them as a dress rehearsal for war.

An editorial in official government newspaper Rodong Sinmun said: “The Trump group’s declaration of the reckless nuclear war exercises against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea … is a reckless behaviour driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.

“’The Korean People’s Army is keeping a high alert, fully ready to contain the enemies. It will take resolute steps the moment even a slight sign of the preventive war is spotted.”

US President Mr Trump sensationally warned North Korea it would face “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continued its aggressive armament programme.

Threats: The President said military action was a possibility (AFP/Getty Images)

It came after North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un ratcheted up tensions by threatening “thousands-fold revenge” on the US over recent sanctions from the UN.

Japan has warned that North Korea may have already developed nuclear warheads capable of attacking the West.

The editorial claimed the regime could strike the US mainland, Hawaii or the Pacific territory of Guam and that the US could do nothing to avoid the “merciless strike”.

It was reported that Pyongyang had drawn up plans to fire four missiles towards Guam, but Kim Jong Un announced he had delayed a decision over whether to strike.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said peaceful diplomatic pressure is the preferred way to stop Pyongyang testing nuclear warheads, but added it must be “backed with military threat”.

China has urged both Washington and Pyongyang to ease tensions by toning down the rhetoric in the peninsula.

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