On Sunday, North Korea warned that the forthcoming joint U.S.-South Korea military drills are reckless behaviors capable of igniting a nuclear war. Pyongyang also threatens that its military can strike the U.S. anytime, and not even Hawaii, Guam or the continental United States can escape the merciless strike.

The warning published by the official government newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, comes barely a day ahead of the commencement of the military exercises known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian by U.S. and South Korea on Monday. The event scheduled to begin on August 21 and end on August 31.

Mounting tensions ahead of military drills

Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have intensified in recent weeks.

In the first of week of August, both nations engaged in series of threats and rhetoric, when U.S. President Donald Trump warned of unleashing “fire and fury” should not Korea carries out an act that threatens the United States and its allies. In response, Pyongyang announced it was studying plans to strike four missiles off the coast of Japan towards the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, forcing China to intervene and called on both nations to maintain restraint.

To an extent, the Chinese efforts paid off following North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un’s decision to withhold authorization to strike four missile near Guam which is a U.S.

territory. North Korean state-run KCNA media stated that Kim would assess U.S. next line of action before ordering a launch.

North Korea’s capability

The Rodong Sinmun newspaper described North Korea as the only nation with the strongest amount of (ICBM) intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the #Continental United States from anywhere.

The report said the Korean People’s army is maintaining a high alert and fully ready to confront the enemies.

Last week, the U.S. military insisted in moving ahead with the military drills saying the exercises with South Korea were not on the negotiating table. General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff told newsmen in Beijing that there would be no going back on the planned military drills despite the recent escalation of tensions with Pyongyang.

The annual exercise often provokes North Korea, which describes them as a rehearsal for war; However, Washington and Seoul insist they are purely for defensive purpose. Following the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told his citizens that there will never be war again in the region.