December 23, 2010 / 10:37 AM / 9 years ago

N.Korea says ready to fight "holy war" using nuclear deterrent

SEOUL, Dec 22 (Reuters) - North Korea’s minister of armed forces said on Thursday its military was prepared to wage a “holy war” against the South using its nuclear deterrent after what he called Seoul’s attempt to initiate conflict.

Minister Kim Yong-chun repeated Pyongyang’s charge that the South had been preparing to start a war by conducting live-fire drills off the west coast, speaking at a rally to mark leader Kim Jong-il’s rise to the country’s top military post 19 years ago.

He was quoted by North Korea’s KCNA news agency which regularly threatens the South but which had up to now been relatively restrained in its criticism of the miltiary drills.

Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie

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