North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered the military to launch a powerful retaliatory strike if provoked by South Korea, the North's state-run media reported on Sunday.
According to the New York Times, Kim's statement to the military was issued during his visit to the southern coast of North Korea that faces a string of islands manned by South Korea's marines. This order was given a day before South Korea and the United State's scheduled joint military exercises.
The United States claim that these exercises are meant to deter aggresion from North Korea while North Korea believes that these exercise are a "provocation that necessitate its nuclear program," reports the New York Times.
According to Mercury News, North Korea's fiery response to the joint exercises has not changed from that of former leader Kim Jong Il, who died in December. Analysts told Mercury news that his youngest son has continued his father's brash approach to the outside world in order to rally support for the nation's leaders.