SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper blasted South Korea on Tuesday for conducting a joint military exercise with the United States on the last day of the drill, warning that Seoul will pay dearly for such "stupid" acts.
South Korea and the U.S. were to wrap up their weekslong joint exercise later in the day. Seoul has said that it is part of its preparations to regain wartime operational control of its troops from Washington, but Pyongyang has called it a rehearsal for invasion.
"The joint command post exercise that the warmongers in South Korea are conducting together with the U.S. is an outright hostile act of invading us and a military provocation that cannot be tolerated," the Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary.
The paper said that the exercise included a "stabilization maneuver" in recaptured areas, which it claims to be evidence that the drill is aimed at "invading and crushing our republic to death."
The paper also blamed South Korea for raising tensions in the region by introducing high-tech military equipment and going ahead with the joint military drill despite repeated warnings from North Korea, saying the South will pay a price for the "stupid" acts.
North Korea has intensified its criticism of South Korea for carrying out the joint military exercise while talking about peace and cross-border cooperation.
The North has also carried out a series of weapons tests in recent weeks in apparent protest of the ongoing joint military exercise by South Korea and the U.S.
Earlier last week, the North warned that inter-Korean dialogue won't resume unless the South offers a "plausible excuse" for its combined military exercise with the U.S.
A spokesperson of the North's committee handling inter-Korean affairs issued a statement Friday, saying Pyongyang has no intention to talk with South Korea again and calling it a "senseless" hope to expect talks to resume when Seoul's joint military exercise with Washington is over.
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