Pyongyang calls US-South Korean war games a step to nuclear war

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Pyongyang has described the US-South Korea annual military drills, set to kick off on Monday, as the "most explicit expression of hostility", voicing fears that the war games, known as the Ulchi Freedom Guardian, may "evolve into actual fighting".

Known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian, the joint drills have their roots in a 1968 raid on South Korea's Blue House presidential complex, when a North Korean army unit secretly entered South Korea and unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate the then president, Park Chung-hee.

The annual drills antagonize Pyongyang which see the exercises as practice for an invasion, however the US and South Korea maintain they are purely defensive. North Korean state-run KCNA media stated that Kim would assess US next line of action before ordering a launch.

The U.S. and South Korea are beginning computer-simulated military exercises as tensions run high with North Korea, Reuters reported.

Perry says North Korea anxious then and worries now that the United States will try to overthrow its government so a nuclear bomb is its best defense.

China and Russian Federation had in July proposed a halt on military exercises in exchange for a freeze on missile tests.

China, North Korea's primary trade partner, has called for calm during the recent weeks, expressing frustration with both the North Korean regime over its repeated nuclear and missile tests and the Trump administration for their sabre rattling that it sees as unnecessarily escalating tensions in the region.

Media captionObservers have been watching the north and south watch each other for more than 60 years. It will be of similar size to last year's event with no field training, she said. But in bad news, that has now changed, with North Korean news agency KCNA releasing a statement specifically focusing on grievances with Malcolm Turnbull's government. It justifies its weapons programmes by pointing to perceived US hostility and regularly threatens to destroy the United States.

President Donald Trump warned North Korea that any attacks would be met by "fire and fury" from the USA, after Pyongyang announced it had developed an ICBM capable of striking the US mainland.

Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) last month that appeared to bring much of the United States within range.

The United States has about 28,000 troops in South Korea.

The military drills involve around 17,500 American troops and 50,000 South Korean soldiers.

North Korean media said Kim was would wait to see the US response before deciding whether to give the order to fire.

Australia, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand will join the drills.

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