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Feb 23, 2013 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard

Excerpted from The Hill: North Korea on Saturday threatened the United States’ armed forces with “miserable destruction” if the Pentagon goes ahead with planned military exercises with South Korea next month, the Associated Press reports.

“You had better bear in mind that those igniting a war are destined to meet a miserable destruction,” the chief of North Korea’s military delegation to the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries is quoted as telling the top U.S. commander on the divided peninsula. Pak Rim Su went on to tell Gen. James Thurman that the drills were “reckless” and accused the United States and South Korea of preparing to invade the north.

The regularly scheduled joint drills come at a time of heightened tensions on the peninsula.

North Korea last week conducted its third nuclear test and subsequently threatened South Korea with “final destruction” in what it said was retaliation for ramped-up sanctions at the United Nations. Those U.N. sanctions, approved last month, were in turn a response to North Korea’s successful long-range rocket launch in December, which the Obama administration said was a cover for testing ballistic missile technology that could put the U.S. mainland within range of the reclusive country’s nuclear weapons program.

Regardless of the threats, President Obama has vowed to pursue further sanctions against North Korea following last week’s test.

“We have had close consultations on a wide range of security issues,” he said after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, “in particular our concerns about the provocative actions that have been taken in North Korea and our determination to take strong actions in response.”