Thu Mar 2, 2017 6:12PM
US M1A2 tanks cross a river during a US-South Korea joint exercise in the border county of Yeoncheon, northeast of Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2015. (Photo by AFP)
US M1A2 tanks cross a river during a US-South Korea joint exercise in the border county of Yeoncheon, northeast of Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2015. (Photo by AFP)
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North Korea has warned the United States and South Korea of “merciless nuclear counter-action” in case of any military aggression by Washington and Seoul.

“It’s quite understandable why the rhetoric coming from North Korea in opposition to these drills is quite fierce and that North Korea continues with its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development program,” says John McGlynn, a political commentator from Tokyo.

“North Korea is just about the only country in the world that is the explicit target of large-scale annual military drills,” McGlynn told Press TV on Thursday.

The fact that thousands of US and South Korean troops are involved in the current military exercises proves that “these [drills] are not defensive, [but] are invasion-like exercises,” he added.

Some 15,000 US and 90,000 South Korean troops are planned to participate in the two-phased joint drills, known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, which will stretch over two month.

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“The tensions are already pretty high,” but the position of the Trump administration in facing the dispute with Pyongyang would determine what would happen in the future, McGlynn said.

The American authorities have threatened North Korea by saying that all options are on the table, he noted, adding that all options are of course “nuclear war” and a “preemptive attack” against Pyongyang.

There are reasons why an invasion of North Korea could be possible if Pyongyang is gripped by instability or a problem within the North Korean leadership, McGlynn concluded.