N Korea vows 'merciless' war against US
North Korea vowed to wage a "merciless, sacred war" against the United States on Thursday, days before the launch of annual joint South Korea-US military exercises that have incensed Pyongyang.
"Nuclear weapons are not a monopoly of the US," the ruling party's official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, warned in an editorial carried by the state KCNA news agency.
"The US is seriously mistaken if it thinks its mainland is safe," the editorial added.
North Korea "will wage a merciless sacred war against the US now that the latter has chosen confrontation", the Rodong Sinmun said.
North Korea regularly ramps up the bellicose rhetoric before the start of the annual joint military exercises that always see a sharp surge in tensions on the divided peninsula.
Seoul and Washington insist they are defensive in nature, but they are condemned by Pyongyang as provocative rehearsals for invasion.
North Korea had offered a moratorium on nuclear testing if this year's joint drills were cancelled -- a proposal rejected by Washington as an "implicit threat" to carry out a fourth nuclear test.