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North Korea warns of revenge on U.S. for ignoring drill warnings

| Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, 9:51 p.m.
Emergency services personnel participate in an anti-terror and anti-chemical terror exercise as part of the 2017 Ulchi Freedom Guardian at Kintex on Aug. 21, 2017 in Goyang, South Korea.
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Emergency services personnel participate in an anti-terror and anti-chemical terror exercise as part of the 2017 Ulchi Freedom Guardian at Kintex on Aug. 21, 2017 in Goyang, South Korea.

SEOUL — North Korea warned the United States on Tuesday it will face “merciless revenge” for ignoring Pyongyang's warnings over annual military drills with South Korea.

The isolated nation said it would be a misjudgment for the United States to think that North Korea will “sit comfortably without doing anything,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said, citing an unidentified military spokesman. The ongoing drills and visits of U.S. military officials to South Korea create the circumstances for a “mock war” on the Korean peninsula, KCNA said.

On Monday, South Korea President Moon Jae-in said North Korea should not to use the latest round of drills as an excuse for any further provocations. The exercises “are not aimed at raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula at all,” Moon told cabinet members.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a visit in early August to a guard post about a half-mile from the border with the South, Yonhap News reported, citing unidentified South Korean government officials. The South Korean military considers the visit an unusual act and is preparing to prevent a possible military provocation, Yonhap said.

The Ulchi-Freedom Guardian military exercises routinely spark condemnation from North Korea. During last year's drills, North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine and put its military on the highest alert.

The United States should never forget that North Korea is watching its moves closely with “fingers on triggers, ready to pour a fire shower of penalties at any time,” according to KCNA.

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