The US command has notified North Korea of the start of formidable military exercises, pointing out their defensive nature.
The United States and South Korea have started the largest joint military exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle.
More than 300,000 South Koreans and 17,000 US troops are to take part in the exercises, the command of US troops in South Korea (USFK) said.
"Command-and-staff exercise Key Resolve is planned to be held from 7 to 18 March. It is a bright example of partnership and friendship between the two nations which demonstrates their commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and stability in the whole region," USFK statement reads.
"Foal Eagle also begins on March 7 and will last until April 30. During the eight weeks, the parties will hold a series of joint field operations. The Army, Air Force, Navy, and Special Forces will take part," the document says.
Furthermore, it states that the US command has notified North Korea of the start of the exercises and emphasized their defensive nature.
Meanwhile, the State Defense Committee of North Korea said that in case of any provocations, the Korean People's Army would "strike the US mainland and US bases in the Asia-Pacific region and sustain an operation to free South Korea."
The people and the army of the ROK wouldn’t miss an opportunity to "unleash a holy war for reunification of the motherland," it stressed.
In response to the joint military exercises of the US and South Korean armed forces, which started on Monday, North Korean government has threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike.