North Korea on Wednesday slammed South Korea for pushing ahead with the planned military drills with the US, and warned of "serious security crisis".
In a press statement published by the official Korean Central News Agency, Kim Yong Chol, department director of Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), said: "As we have already clarified, we will make them realise by the minute what a dangerous choice they made and what a serious security crisis they will face because of their wrong choice."
Kim Yong Chol made the remarks one day after Kim Yo Jong, vice department director of the Central Committee of the WPK, issued a similar warning: "the choice of hope or despair is totally up to the South Korean authorities", Xinhua news agency reported.
He stressed that the military exercises slated by South Korea with the US "would be an unfavourable prelude further beclouding the future of the inter-Korean relations".
"But the South Korean authorities have now revealed that peace and trust much touted by them whenever an opportunity presented itself were just a wordplay," said Kim Yong Chol, who is in charge of South Korea affairs in the country.
South Korea "must be made to clearly understand how dearly they have to pay for answering our good faith with hostile acts after letting go the opportunity for improved inter-Korean relations," he added.
Despite strong opposition from Pyongyang, South Korea and the US started their four-day preliminary drills on Tuesday and the joint military exercises are expected to run through next week from August 16 to 26.
The leaders of both North Korea and South Korea agreed to resume the inter-Korean hotlines two weeks ago, which was cut off for more than a year.
The North has since demanded that the South suspend drills to accelerate a thaw in the strained inter-Korean relations.