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N. Korea denounces U.S.-S. Korea joint military drill

All News 21:56 November 06, 2019

SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Wednesday expressed anger over a planned joint military drill between South Korea and the United States, calling it a declaration of confrontation against the communist state.

In a statement carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency, an official from the North Korean foreign ministry claimed the military maneuver, if held, would be a violation of an agreement reached at the first summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore last year.

"The U.S. move to stage a war exercise that we oppose, at a sensitive time such as now when the entire world is concerned about the future of DPRK-U.S relations, only shows the true nature of the U.S., an imperialist nation that destroys global peace and safety and considers military strength as a solution to all problems," the statement said.

The statement came one day after officials here and Washington said the allies would skip their annual joint air exercise, called Vigilant Ace, and instead hold a scaled-back drill.

The annual military drill was launched in 2015 but was called off last year amid denuclearization dialogue with North Korea.

Trump and Kim met again in Vietnam this year for their second bilateral summit, but the talks ended without any deal.

Efforts to resume the U.S.-North Korea dialogue are now under way, but their latest working-level talks, held in Stockholm early last month, again ended without any apparent progress.

"The U.S. announcing plans for a joint air exercise only one month after the DPRK-U.S. working level talks in Stockholm collapsed cannot be but understood as a declaration of confrontation against our nation," the statement said.

"No person in the world thinks the invasive nature of a war exercise changes just because the name of the exercise changes," it added.

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