A spokesman for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said its military was closely monitoring the movements of the North Korean army and maintaining full readiness.
The North Korean Foreign Minister attended the regular session of the UN General Assembly in September, during which Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea over its weapons programme, including the September 3 nuclear test. In May the ministry said North Korea had hacked into Seoul's military intranet but did not say what had been leaked. -South Korea vice-ministerial strategic dialogue was last held in June 2014 in Washington.
Australia's foreign and defense ministers visited the heavily fortified inter-Korean border Thursday and emphasized the need to inflict "maximum diplomatic pressure" to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambition.
Ri told Tass that the North's nuclear weapons represent a deterrent to protect the country from the U.S.
Two supersonic U.S. bombers have flown over the Korean peninsula in a "show of force" despite Kim Jong-Un's threats to shoot them down. Defense officials refused to comment Wednesday.
North Korea often uses provocative tests to mark key historical commemorations and the country is celebrating the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party on Tuesday.
Late last month, the Air Force sent two B-1Bs over global waters close to the North's east coast. Pyongyang belatedly responded by relocating some of its military aircraft to its east coast, the National Intelligence Service then said.
To make the complex fully operational again, North Korea would also be hard pressed to replace the electricity supply that came from South Korea, according to the Kaesong business owners.
During Tuesday's drills, the USA bombers, which flew from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, staged simulated air-to-ground missile striking drills off the peninsula's east coast before flying across the country accompanied by the two South Korean fighters. Japan's air force also joined the drill.
US President Donald Trump tweeted last week that North Korea has been "making fools" of US negotiators for 25 years, adding that "only one thing will work" in dealing with the Kim Jong Un regime. "It is also consistent with the view of many other members of the global community to lessen, reduce or completely diminish any diplomatic relationship with North Korea".
Pyongyang has denied responsibility for the cyberattacks in its state media, criticising Seoul for "fabricating" claims about online attacks.
Still, Australia supports the USA policy of having military options on the table, the defense minister noted.
While the officials said the exercises are long scheduled and not in response to recent tensions, similar exercises have prompted strong condemnation from North Korea in the past.