The US and South Korea launched their annual joint military exercises early today—and North Korea delivered its annual response of missile launches and dire threats. According to Yonhap News, Pyongyang fired two short-range missiles into the East Sea from the western city of Nampo as the drills began. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff say the missiles were probably Scud-C or Scud-D types and that the military is "vigilant against any additional launches while strengthening the readiness posture." North Korea calls the drills, which involve tens of thousands of troops, a provocation and claims they're a rehearsal for the invasion of the country and the overthrow of its leadership, the BBC reports.
In a statement carried by state media, a North Korean military spokesman said, "The only means to cope with the aggression and war by the US imperialists and their followers is neither dialogue nor peace" and "they should be dealt with only by merciless strikes," the AP reports. As in previous years, the US and South Korea have refused to halt the "Foal Eagle" and "Key Resolve" drills, which will continue until the end of April, saying they're purely defensive in nature, reports Yonhap. Last month, talk of a rare Seoul-Pyongyang summit cooled after North Korea test-fired five missiles into the sea. (Read more North Korea stories.)