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N. Korea warns of "precision strike" on U.S. bases

SEOUL, South Korea In a statement released on state television Thursday North Korea warned of retaliatory military actions against the United States for flying U.S. military bombers over the Korean Peninsula last week, and even threatened U.S. military bases in Okinawa, Japan and Guam.

North Korea has continuously denounced the annual combined U.S.-South Korean military drills, code-named "Joint Foal Eagle" and "Key Resolve," taking place this month, calling them practice drills for war.

The drills included flights by B-52 strategic bombers, which have nuclear strike capability.

"The U.S. should not forget that the Anderson Air Force Base on Guam, where the B-52 takes off, and naval bases in Japan and Okinawa, where nuclear-powered submarines are launched, are within the striking range of the DPRK's precision strike means," said the statement as communicated by a North Korean newsreader.

"Now that the U.S. has started open nuclear blackmail and threats, the DPRK, too, will move to take corresponding military actions," the North Korean newsreader added.

A B-52 bomber flies over Osan on March 19, 2013, part of joint U.S.-South Korea military drills. Pentagon officials said the flights of the nuclear-capable bombers should be seen as underscoring U.S. commitment and capacity to defend Seoul against an attack from the North. WON DAI-YEON/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea has already announced it has nullified the 1953 ceasefire agreement in the Korean Peninsula.

The new statement from North Korea on Thursday said the South Korean-U.S. drill was a hostile act aimed at encroaching upon the sovereignty of North Korea.

"The world will clearly see the provocateurs, who hurt the sovereignty of the DPRK, meet a miserable end in the flames of justice, kindled by the army and people of the DPRK to defend its sovereignty," the newsreader said.

North Korea regularly protests against the annual military exercises carried out by U.S. and South Korean forces.

But this year the North's protests have been especially sharp, combined with its reaction to new U.N. sanctions imposed after Pyongyang's latest nuclear test in February.

North Korea's Korean Central Television, a TV and radio broadcaster, issued an air raid alert on Thursday morning, insisting its military quickly take measures to prevent damage from an enemy air strike.

A radio announcement cancelled the alert about an hour later.

The South Korean defense ministry said the alert looked like part of a North Korean military drill.

"Our military is closely monitoring the situation," South Korean defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok stated.

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