South Korea, United States conduct joint drills

Recent South Korean and U.S. joint military exercises prompted further rhetoric from North Korea, which said it carried through on a threat to end the 60-year-old armistice put in place at the end of the Korean War.

The U.S.-South Korean joint drills are scheduled to last 11 days. Ten thousand South Korean troops and 3,000 American troops are expected to participate in the exercises, which are being called "Key Resolve." The two militaries will rehearse different scenarios for a possible conflict occurring on the Korean peninsula, according to Fox News.

North Korea, in response to tougher United Nations sanctions, placed its military on high alert and vowed to launch a nuclear strike against the United States, despite experts' opinions that they lack the capability to field a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Pyongyang did not issue a formal announcement about carrying through on its threat to end the armistice, although the country's national newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported it had been officially nullified. The North also carried through on its previous threat to shut down a Red Cross hotline connected to South Korea. The countries used the hotline to communicate about aid shipments and families wishing to reunite across the heavily-armed border, Fox News reports.

"This is part of their brinksmanship," Daniel Pinkston of the International Crisis Group said, according to Fox News . "It's an effort to signal their resolve, to show they are willing to take greater risks, with the expectation that everyone else caves in and gives them what they want."