A South Korea K-1 tank fires live rounds during air and ground military exercises on the Seungjin Fire Training Field, in mountainous Pocheon Dec. 23, 2010.
North Korea wants South Korea to know it’s ready not just for war, but a nuke-fuelled holy war.
Tensions are heating up on the Korean peninsula as South Korea continues to stage military drills near the border.
The response on Thursday from North Korea's chief of defense, Kim Yong Chun, was blunt:
"To counter the enemy's intentional drive to push the situation to the brink of war, our revolutionary forces are making preparations to begin a holy war at any moment necessary based on nuclear deterrent," Kim said, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
The remarks come as the North prepares to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the day its leader, Kim Jong Il, took power.
Hostilities between the two neighbors have risen since North Korea waged an artillery attack on the South's Yeonpyeong island last month that killed four South Koreans.
Since then, the South has intensified its military exercises using tanks and fighter jets in a show of force that the North calls "provocative" and "offensive," The Associated Press reported.
Both countries are still at war since the 1950s Korean War that divided the peninsula did not end with a peace treaty.
And it will never end