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North Korea’s Kim Urges ‘Powerful’ Retaliation for Any Trespass

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told his military to launch a “powerful retaliatory strike” against any trespass into his nation’s territory, as South Korea and the U.S. prepare to start military drills tomorrow.

Kim made the comment during his visits to military units, including a battalion responsible for a deadly artillery attack in 2010 on Yeonpyeong island in the South, state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a statement dated yesterday.

The tours precede the annual “Key Resolve” military exercises held by the U.S. and South Korea, with the two allies looking for signals about North Korea’s direction under the new leader. The communist regime yesterday said it will respond to the drills with a “sacred war,” maintaining its hostile rhetoric and repeating routine verbal threats of attacks.

South Korea this month held live-fire naval drills in disputed waters as a North Korean threat of “merciless punishment” prompted the evacuation of thousands of island residents nearby. The two Koreas are separated by the world’s most fortified land border.

North Korea must improve its interaction with the South to make further progress in its relationship with the U.S., Glyn Davies, U.S. special representative, reiterated in Seoul yesterday.

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