North Korea threatened to start a “sacred” nuclear war against South Korea Thursday after Seoul staged more artillery drills near the North Korean border.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that defense chief Kim Yong Chun announced that Korea was “fully prepared to launch a sacred war” against its neighbor. Kim said that the North would make use of its nuclear resources if attacked and warned the South against encroaching upon North Korean territory.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have mounted steadily this week as South Korea staged military drills on Yeonpyeong Island. Last month the North shelled the island, killing two civilians and two marines.
South Korea staged the largest live-fire drills on Thursday, mobilizing missiles artillery, attack helicopters, rocket systems, and fighter jets. About 800 troops participated in the exercise, UPI reported.
South Korean officials said the display was meant to dissuade North Korea from provocative action.
UPI reported that the White House maintains its support of South Korea.
“I think exercises that have been announced well in advance, that are transparent, that are defensive in nature should in no way engender a response from the North Koreans,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. “Everybody, I think, in the world is aware that they’re happening. And they are exercises that are defensive in nature. The United States is obviously supportive of the Republic of Korea.”