Kim Jong-un warns against S. Korea-U.S. military drill

Kim says, "There is a limit to our patience," adding he has "finally signed" an order of "battle to an all-out counter-offensive."

North Korea's leader once again warned of "the all-out battle" against the South, denouncing an ongoing joint military drill between South Korea and the United States, the North's state media said Sunday.

   South Korean and U.S. forces began a 12-day annual joint military exercise, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, on Aug. 20 to test and improve their defense posture against North Korea, mobilizing some 56,000 South Korean troops and about 30,000 U.S. soldiers, according to military officials.

   Seoul and Washington "are staging large-scale war drills for aggressions targeted against us," North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was quoted by the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying during his speech at an Aug. 25 anniversary to celebrate what the communist country claims as former leader Kim Jong-il's start of "the military-first revolutionary leadership."

   "There is a limit to our patience," Kim said, adding he had "finally signed" an order of "battle to an all-out counter-offensive."

   The North Korean leader threatened on Aug. 18 to turn the west sea into "a graveyard of the invaders" during a visit to a front-line artillery unit near the tense western sea border that was responsible for the North's deadly bombardment of South Korea's Yeonpyeong island in 2010.

   North Korea has long denounced the joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, claiming they amount to a prelude to war. Seoul and Washington have countered that the drills are defensive in nature.

   The young leader, during his visit to the frontline eastern sector, also watched a performance by the Moranbong Band with his wife Ri Sol-ju to celebrate the anniversary, according to the KCNA.

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