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North Korea vows to rapidly advance nuclear attack capabilities

[SEOUL] North Korea vowed to make rapid advancements on nuclear attack capabilities if South Korea and the US continue with joint military drills, with the warning coming days before predictions that the nation may conduct its fifth nuclear test for the Worker's Party Congress on May 6.

"Our capability to make nuclear attacks will make fast advancement every time enemies conduct war exercises," the regime's official news agency reported, citing an unidentified spokesman at its foreign ministry.

North Korea called a joint military drill between South Korea and the US "the worst military provocation."

The statement came after North Korea's failed attempts to fire missiles this week, and days before Kim Jong Un's regime is scheduled to hold its first ruling party congress in decades.

South Korean President Park Geun Hye said Pyongyang has completed preparations to conduct its fifth nuclear test and vowed to seek stronger sanctions against North Korea if it conducts the test.

In an interview with the AP, North Korea offered to halt its nuclear test if the US and South Korea would suspend defensive drills. US President Barack Obama dismissed the proposal.

BLOOMBERG