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Pak Rim-su, the North Korean military's representative at the truce village of Panmunjom, sent the telephone message to Gen. James Thurman, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, saying the peninsula is facing "a grave situation where a war may break out any moment," according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
"If your side ignites a war of aggression by staging the reckless joint military exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle again under the cover of 'defensive and annual ones' at this dangerous time, from that moment your fate will be hung by a thread with every hour," said the message in English.
The Key Resolve drills, set for March 11-25, are largely computer-simulated maneuvers aimed at improving combat capabilities to deter threats from the North. The exercises will also involve about 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 American troops to test various scenarios.
Foal Eagle exercises, planned for March 1 to April 30, are a field tactical training that will mobilize about 200,000 Korean and 10,000 American troops, mostly from overseas, and include a set of land, sea and air maneuvers.