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North Korea: Annual Military Drills Between the U.S. and South Korea Have the 'High Possibility of Sparking Off a War

"They should be dealt with only by merciless strikes."

BERLIN (TheBlaze/AP) — North Korea's foreign minister called the current round of U.S.-South Korean military drills "unprecedentedly provocative" at an international disarmament conference this week.

On Monday, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea as Seoul and Washington launched their annual drills, which will run until the end of April. The drills inevitably lead to strong North Korean comments, although the allies say the drills are purely defensive.

South Korean army soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence near the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, Monday, March 2, 2015. North Korea on Monday fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and warned of "merciless strikes" against its enemies as allies Seoul and Washington launched annual military drills Pyongyang claims are preparation for a northward invasion.(AP/Ahn Young-joon)

protester holds a sign to denounce the annual joint military exercises, dubbed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, between South Korea and the United States, during a rally near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, March 2, 2015. North Korea on Monday fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and warned of "merciless strikes" against its enemies as allies Seoul and Washington launched annual military drills Pyongyang claims are preparation for a northward invasion. (AP/Lee Jin-man)

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong told the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Tuesday that the exercises "are unprecedentedly provocative in nature and have especially high possibility of sparking off a war," according to a text of his speech.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is again inching close to the brink of a war," a spokesman for the North Korean People's Army General Staff told the country's official news agency Monday, according to Agence France‑Presse. "The only means to cope with the aggression and war by the U.S. imperialists and their followers is neither dialogue nor peace. They should be dealt with only by merciless strikes."

Ri is due to address the U.N. Human Rights Council later Tuesday.

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