North Korea has slammed the joint springtime military exercise that South Korea and the U.S. plan to hold this month.
The Choson Sinbo newspaper, published by a pro-North, Korean propaganda organization in Japan and serves as Pyongyang's mouthpiece, said Saturday the Freedom Shield exercise is a rehearsal to invade North Korea.
The paper said such repetitive war games are posing military threats and they are exactly why the North is seeking to bolster self-defense capabilities.
Another North's propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri also lashed out at the combined drills mentioning Freedom Shield, Soaring Eagle and Vigilant Storm and accused the allies of driving up tensions on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war.
South Korea and the U.S. on Friday announced that Freedom Shield will take place from March 13 to the 23 for eleven days, reviving large scale field maneuvers to the scale of the Foal Eagle exercise prior to 2019 when South Korea suspended them.
Meanwhile a military source told Yonhap news agency on Saturday that Seoul is prepared and is ready to respond in kind if the North fires shots and missiles toward the South Korean side of the buffer zone in violation of a 2018 military agreement that sought to ease inter-Korean tensions.