North Korea has reacted furiously to the exercises, calling them a rehearsal for invasion. Representation image. SimpleImages/Gettyimages

State-run media KCNA reported that North Korea on Thursday, Apr. 6, accused the United States and South Korea of inciting nuclear war through their joint military exercises and threatened to take "offensive action" in retaliation.

Choe Ju Hyon, a so-called international security specialist, published a statement for KCNA in which he criticized the exercises as "a trigger for driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the point of explosion."

"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," the article said.

It was using the acronym of North Korea's official name, 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," it added.

Since March, U.S. and South Korean forces have been engaged in a series of annual springtime exercises, which have included their first large-scale amphibious landing maneuvers in five years as well as air and sea drills involving a U.S. aircraft carrier and B-1B and B-52 bombers, Reuters reported.

The commentary singled out the air carrier's participation as aimed at stoking confrontation, saying Pyongyang will respond to the drills by exercising its war deterrence through "offensive action".

"The drills have turned the Korean peninsula into a huge powder magazine which can be detonated any moment," it added.

North Korea has reacted furiously to the exercises, calling them a rehearsal for invasion.

In recent weeks, it has stepped up its military operations, revealing new, smaller nuclear warheads, launching an intercontinental ballistic missile that can strike any place in the United States, and testing what it calls an underwater attack drone with a nuclear payload.

Han Tae Song, the permanent representative of North Korea's diplomatic mission in Geneva, fiercely attacked an annual resolution on the country's human rights condition that the UN Human Rights Council endorsed this week in a separate KCNA dispatch.

Pyongyang has long rejected international criticism of its human rights abuses as a U.S.-led plot to overthrow its regime.

Han called the resolution an "intolerable act of political provocation and hostility" and "the most heavily politicized document of fraud."

The human rights record of North Korea is often considered to be the worst in the world and has been globally condemned, with the United Nations, the European Union and groups such as Human Rights Watch all critical of the country's record.

Most international human rights organizations consider North Korea to have no contemporary parallel with respect to violations of liberty.

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