Leading newspapers of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Tuesday slammed the joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea as being a prelude to war against the country, vowing to mete out "merciless punishment" to the "aggressors".
"The military exercises now underway in and around South Korea are a direct product of the US imperialists' unchanged policy to stifle the DPRK and the Lee Myung Bak group's policy of confrontation with it," said a commentary carried jointly by the official Rodong Sinmun daily and the Minju Joson daily.
It was "heinous" that the United States had forced the DPRK to dismantle its nuclear weapons while pursuing its hostile policy against it, the commentary said.
The United States and South Korea have carefully worked out detailed operational plans to "swallow up the DPRK", it alleged.
"The aggressors are bound to meet merciless punishment from the army of Songun," the commentary warned.
US troops have been stationed in South Korea since the end ofthe 1950-1953 Korean war, and currently number 28,500.
In mid-August, the United States and South Korea held a massive annual joint military drill, code-named Ulchi Freedom Guardian, in which about 56,000 South Korean troops and 10,000 US soldiers participated.
(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2008)