'The U.S. and South Korea argue the drills -- which include live firing by U.S. Marines, aerial attack drills and urban warfare training -- are purely defensive. North Korea claims they amount to attack preparations and has demanded they be canceled.
The North's People's Army issued a statement Monday, warning the drills created a tense situation and that its troops are "fully ready" to "blow up" the allies once the order is issued.
The North also put all its soldiers and reservists on high alert to "mercilessly crush the aggressors" should they encroach upon the North's territory even slightly, said the statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.'
Pyongyang typically increases its defensive posture and ups its rhetoric in response to these drills. Although the spate of missile and nuclear testing over the past year make the threat somewhat more serious, North Korea has little ability to follow through on anything. It's soldiers may very well be more likely to ask for a good, hot meal at this point. While they are typically better fed than the average 'citizen,' the repeated halts to food aid this last year have left the entire country on the brink .