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DPRK denounces U.S.-S. Korea joint military exercises

(Xinhua)

14:40, February 27, 2012

PYONGYANG, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) denounced the joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises which kicked off Monday.

A commentary issued Monday by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the DPRK's official news agency, called the drills "an unpardonable infringement upon the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK as they evidently target the DPRK which is in the mourning period."

It said the drills, the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, are "a preemptive attack" on the country and accused the United States and South Korea of being "warmongers."

It urged the United States and South Korea to "ponder over the catastrophic consequences of their reckless military provocations."

The commentary also warned that no one could predict the outcome of the situation, which was already "out of control."

Moreover, it said a war on the Korean Peninsula will seriously affect not only the Peninsula, but also regional peace and security.

The KCNA reported Sunday that the DPRK's new leader Kim Jong Un inspected front-line artillery units, and that the 4th Army Corps in the southwestern region has been put on heightened alert.

"The army and people of the DPRK are fully ready to fight a war with them," it further said.

The Key Resolve, which will continue until March 9, will involve about 200,000 South Korean troops and 2,100 U.S. troops. About 800 more U.S. participants will come from outside South Korea, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC).

South Korean officials have said the Key Resolve is "routine and defense-oriented" and was planned months ahead, without any connection to current international affairs.

Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Britain reportedly will take part in the Key Resolve as observers.

Besides the Key Resolve, the United States and South Korea plan to launch another joint exercise, the Foal Eagle, from March 1 to April 30.

The Foal Eagle will include about 11,000 U.S. forces plus South Korean troops in division-sized or smaller units, officials said.

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