North Korea has conducted military command drills aimed at "occupying South Korean territory", state media reported on Thursday, as South Korea and the US are staging their combined military exercise.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the drills during his visit to the training command post of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army (KPA) on Tuesday, Yonhap news agency reported, citing the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
North Korea said that it carried out the military command drill involving the entire army in response to Seoul and Washington's "provocative and dangerous" large-scale joint exercises simulating an all-out war against North Korea.
South Korea and the US are set to complete their Ulchi Freedom Shield exercise Thursday, which started its 11-day run on August 21. On Wednesday, the allies staged joint air drills, involving at least one US B-1B strategic bomber, over the Yellow Sea.
North Korea said its command drill was "aimed at occupying the entire territory of the southern half by repelling the enemy's sudden armed invasion and switching over to an all-out counterattack".
The North Korea's leader stressed the need to deal heavy blows at the enemies' war command centre at the initial stage of military operations in a bid to make them "dispirited," throw their combat actions into confusion and "paralyze their will" to fight a war, the KCNA said.
North Korea has called for bolstering its military power, including its naval forces, as Seoul, Washington and Tokyo have agreed to beef up their security cooperation to counter the North's nuclear and missile threats.
In a separate dispatch, the report said the KPA General Staff on Wednesday conducted a tactical nuclear strike drill simulating annihilating major command posts and airfields in South Korea, in response to Washington's deployment of its B-1B strategic bomber.
The missile unit of the KPA "correctly carried out its nuclear strike mission through air bursts at a preset altitude of 400 meters above the target island", the KCNA said.
North Korea was referring to the launch of two short-range ballistic missiles Wednesday night. The missiles each flew some 360 km before splashing into the East Sea, according to the South Korean military.
The North's military warned the drill was aimed at sending a "clear message" to the enemies to show the North's "resolute punitive will and substantive retaliation capabilities" against them.