This picture taken and released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting the test-fire of intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 at an undisclosed location
© KCNA VIA KNS/AFP STR

North Korea has accused the United States and South Korea of attempting to trigger a nuclear war.

The nuclear-armed North made the accusation on the eve of both country’s largest-ever joint air exercise.

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The five-day Vigilant Ace drill involves some 230 aircraft including F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters.

It begins Monday, five days after the North test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.

On the back of the latest missile launch, White House National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the possibility of war with the North was “increasing every day”.

“I think it’s increasing every day, which means that…we are in a race to be able to solve this problem,” he said at a forum on Saturday.

“There are ways to address this problem short of armed conflict, but it is a race because he’s getting closer and closer, and there’s not much time left,” he said.

But Pyongyang said the comments and the drills clearly suggest the US was calling for war.

“It is an open, all-out provocation against the DPRK, which may lead to a nuclear war any moment,” North Korea’s ruling party Rodong newspaper said.

“The US and South Korean puppet warmongers would be well advised to bear in mind that their DPRK-targeted military drill will be as foolish as an act precipitating their self-destruction.”