N. Korea: U.S. drills have pushed 'extreme red-line'

STORY: This joint U.S., South Korea military drill has prompted a scathing attack from North Korea.

After the B1-B heavy bombers and stealth fighters flew exercises, Pyongyang's foreign ministry said in state media Thursday that such drills had pushed the situation to an "extreme red-line".

It also said the North was not interested in dialog as long as Washington pursues hostile policies.

The White House has hit back at the accusation, saying that the U.S. has no such intent toward North Korea.

The spat comes hot off the heels of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's trip to Seoul, during which he vowed to expand military drills and deploy more "strategic assets" there, such as aircraft carriers and long-range bombers.

North Korea's statement cited Austin's trip as a cause for concern, saying, "This is a vivid expression of the U.S. dangerous scenario which will result in turning the Korean peninsula into a huge war arsenal and a more critical war zone."

More than 28,500 American troops are based in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

Last year, North Korea conducted a record number of ballistic missile tests.

It was also observed reopening its shuttered nuclear weapons test site.