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North Korea threatens "indiscriminate pre-emptive" nuclear strikes against US and South Korea

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By Seamus Kearney
North Korea threatens "indiscriminate pre-emptive" nuclear strikes against US and South Korea

<p>Tension between North and South Korea has flared again, with the north warning of what it calls an “indiscriminate pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice”. </p> <p>The new threat to turn the US and South Korea into what Pyongyang calls a “sea of flames and ash” comes as the two allies begin annual military exercises.</p> <p>A fourth nuclear test by the north and a long-range rocket launch last month have angered Seoul and Washington and tough new UN sanctions were imposed.</p> <p>South Korean Defence Ministry Spokesman Moon Sang-Gyun told a media conference:<br /> “North Korea should immediately stop its rash and reckless behaviour that leads to self-destruction. </p> <p>“If North Korea ignores our warning and makes provocations, our military will firmly and mercilessly respond to it.”</p> <p>The US and South Korea say have informed the north that the exercises are clearly for “training” only and are “non-provocative”.</p> <p>But the deployment of 17,000 American troops and 300,000 South Korean soldiers has been condemned by the north as an act of aggression.</p> <p>Seoul says so far it has seen no sign of any unusual military activity in the north.</p>