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N. Korea urges S. Korea to stop military drills

North Korea 08:19 January 28, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper urged South Korea to stop military drills Monday, saying such military activity could hurt the current mood of peace and dialogue on the Korean Peninsula.

"It is not something that can be easily overlooked that military authorities in South Korea have conducted war exercises from early this year by mobilizing a huge number of troops," the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, said in an article.

"They are a dangerous military action that runs counter to the current trend to move toward our people's reconciliation, peace and stability," the paper added.

The paper took issue with an anti-terrorism drill and winter military drills South Korea recently carried out across the country. It also criticized the South for its plans to increase its military budget for this year and bring in stealth fighter jets in late March.

The criticism is in line with what North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's Day address in which he called on Seoul to stop any joint military drills with the United States and demand no foreign strategic assets be brought onto the Korean Peninsula.

The paper said that those military drills and any efforts to strengthen military capabilities in the South are the main culprit for intensifying tensions and raising the likelihood of war on the Korean Peninsula.

"As long as the North and the South affirmed their will to move toward peace and prosperity, all kinds of military exercises and any introduction of war equipment from the outside should be stopped," it said.

Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda outlet, also warned that any military confrontation between the Koreas would lead to increased cross-border tensions and eventually foreshadow an end to inter-Korean relations.


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