North Korea on Thursday accused the United States and South Korea of pushing tensions to the verge of nuclear war with their joint military exercises and threatened to retaliate with "offensive action," according to state media KCNA.
Choe Ju Hyon, identified by KCNA as an international security analyst, criticized the exercises as "a trigger for driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the point of explosion."
The article stated, "The reckless military confrontational hysteria of the U.S. and its followers against the DPRK is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to an irreversible catastrophe ... to the brink of a nuclear war"
It utilizes the acronym for the official name of North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"Now the international community unanimously hopes that the dark clouds of a nuclear war hanging over the Korean peninsula will be removed as early as possible," the statement continued.
Since March, U.S. and South Korean forces have conducted an annual series of springtime exercises, including air and sea drills involving a U.S. aircraft carrier and B-1B and B-52 bombers and their first large-scale amphibious landing manoeuvres in five years.
According to the editorial, Pyongyang would respond to the drills with "offensive action" to exercise its war deterrence, which singled out the airline's involvement as intended to incite conflict.
"The drills have turned the Korean peninsula into a huge powder magazine which can be detonated any moment," the report added.
North Korea has responded angrily to the exercises, calling them an invasion rehearsal.
Recently, it unveiled new, smaller nuclear warheads, launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking any place in the United States, and allegedly tested a nuclear-armed underwater attack drone.
Han Tae Song, the permanent representative of North Korea's diplomatic mission in Geneva, severely attacked an annual resolution issued this week by the United Nations Human Rights Council regarding the country's human rights condition in a separate KCNA dispatch.
Long ago, Pyongyang dismissed international condemnation of human rights violations as an American-led effort to overthrow its government.
Han referred to the resolution as an "intolerable act of political provocation and hostility" and "the most heavily politicized document of fraud."