North Korea says its military will be on "special alert" because of South Korea's joint military drills with the U.S.

The communist nation's army made the announcement Monday on the same day that the country said it was restarting key reconciliation projects with South Korea, to reunite separated families and organize joint tourism.

The North's army said its troops would go on "a special alert" starting Monday, when South Korean and U.S. militaries planned to start annual computer-simulated war games.

The statement, carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency, says the North would retaliate mercilessly at the "slightest military provocation" from South Korea and the U.S. The two allies say their maneuvers are purely defensive.