North Korea slams US-South Korea computer-simulated drills

Last month North Korea test-launched two ICBMs at highly lofted angles, and outside experts say those missiles can reach some United States parts like Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at normal, flattened trajectories.

The 11-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill involves 50,000 South Korean and 17,500 United States troops.

"The Trump group's declaration of the reckless nuclear war exercises against North Korea ... is a reckless behaviour driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war", the daily said.

North Korea on Sunday slammed the upcoming joint US-South Korea military exercise as an act of "adding fuel to the fire" on the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has said it's developing nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the USA mainland, generating a war of words with Washington and additional trade sanctions on Pyongyang by the UN.

That sparked a grim warning by President Donald Trump that Washington could rain "fire and fury" on the North.

As of last week, the threats to send missiles to the US Pacific Island of Guam given by North Korea have been taken back, but the country said it would watch the US' next actions.

No upgrade in threat level due to North Korean threat governor of Guam
No upgrade in threat level due to North Korean threat governor of Guam

The number of U.S. troops participating this year is lower than last year. He has previously said military force is an option to prevent Kim from gaining an intercontinental ballistic missile that could deliver a nuclear weapon to the US. However, the US and South Korea maintain they are purely defensive. The U.S. has always maintained these are purely defensive and to keep the two militaries prepared in case of an unplanned event like a missile strike.

How has North Korea reacted?

The exercise is "to make certain that we're ready to defend South Korea and our allies", US Defence Secretary James Mattis told reporters yesterday.

"The dual freeze approach is China's attempt at buck passing and moral equivalency between USA actions and North Korean actions", Hass said.

The war games, which last 11 days, involve some 17,500 American service members, including about 3,000 from outside the peninsula, and 50,000 South Korean troops.

"Most US troops in South Korea are stationed for only one year".

The exercises, created to improve South Korea's defence, are carried out to recognise the treaty between the Republic of Korea and the United States signed in 1953. But, because of the increased attention on the Korean peninsula, North Korea's allies of China and Russian Federation are making louder calls to freeze these exercises in the interest of getting North Korea back to the table to talk about de-escalating aggression on the peninsula.

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