North Korea on Monday accused the United States of war-mongering amid a US and Japanese push to slap sanctions on the communist regime for its missile tests.
Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the ruling Korean Workers Party, renewed its condemnation of the ongoing US-led Rim of the Pacific Exercise in Hawaii, considered the world's biggest international sea drills.
US President George W Bush's "team leaves no stone unturned in its attempts to ignite a new war on the Korean Peninsula, regarding the peninsula as the key link in implementing its Asia strategy of aggression," the newspaper said in a commentary carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
It described "the large-scale exercises staged by the US imperialists after the Cold War as an extremely provocative and dangerous gamble aimed at the second Korean war."
The newspaper did not mention Pyongyang's tests last week of seven missiles, which the regime said were aimed at bolstering its defenses against a potential US invasion.
The Bush administration, which in 2002 branded North Korea as part of an "axis of evil," has supported a Japanese resolution at the United Nations to impose further sanctions on Pyongyang for the missile tests.
But the resolution is opposed by China and Russia, which hold veto power at the UN Security Council.
The month-long Rim of the Pacific Exercise takes place every two years and includes eight countries, including the United States, Japan and South Korea.