DEVELOPING: North Korea Threatens South Korea With Nuclear War - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

DEVELOPING: North Korea Threatens South Korea With Nuclear War

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -  North Korea warned Monday that U.S.-South Korean cooperation could bring a nuclear war to the region, as the South began artillery drills amid lingering tension nearly three weeks after the North's deadly shelling of a South Korean island.

The South's naval live-fire drills are scheduled to run Monday through Friday at 27 sites. The regularly scheduled exercises are getting special attention following a North Korean artillery attack on front-line Yeonpyeong Island that killed two South Korean marines and two civilians.

The Nov. 23 artillery barrage, the North's first assault to target a civilian area since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, began after the North said South Korea first fired artillery toward its territorial waters. South Korea says it fired shells southward, not toward North Korea, as part of routine exercises.

After the attack, South Korea staged joint military drills with the United States and also pushed ahead with more artillery exercises, despite the North's warning that they would aggravate tension.

A South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff officer tried to play down the significance of this week's drills, saying they are part of routine military exercises and would not occur near the disputed western Korean sea border where last month's attack took place. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of office policy, gave no further details.

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