North Korea is following up on yesterday's threat of a "physical response" to US-South Korean military drills, today promising "powerful nuclear deterrence" and a "retaliatory sacred war" in the face of what it calls an "unpardonable" provocation. North Korea routinely threatens war when South Korea and the US hold joint exercises, which the US has scheduled to start tomorrow as a message to Pyongyang to stop its "aggressive" behavior.
South Korea's Defense Ministry said no unusual North Korean military movements were detected, but the North remains adamant that it stands wrongly accused in the March sinking of the South's warship Cheonan. The nuclear-powered USS George Washington supercarrier is already docked in the southern port of Busan, and the US keeps 28,500 troops in South Korea to deter against aggression. The military drills are to set to run through Wednesday, with about 8,000 US and South Korean troops on some 20 ships and submarines carrying out exercises. (Read more South Korea stories.)