North Korea on Tuesday lashed out at an upcoming joint US-South Korean military exercise, warning it would attack the South and the US mainland in case of any armed provocation. The South and its close US ally will next month hold their largest-ever annual exercise in response to the North’s recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch, Seoul’s defense ministry has announced.

The North’s military supreme command said the allies planned to practice a “beheading operation” aimed at the North’s leadership, and other moves to neutralize its nuclear weapons and missiles. If there were even a “slight sign” of special forces moving to carry out such operations, the military said, “strategic and tactical” preemptive attacks would be launched. The primary target would be the South’s presidential Blue House, it said in a statement on the official news agency, condemning it as “the center for hatching plots for confrontation with the fellow countrymen in the north, and reactionary ruling machines”. READ MORE