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(LEAD) N. Korea warns U.S. against joint military drills with S. Korea

All Headlines 22:55 November 13, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with KCNA's English-language report)

SEOUL, Nov. 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's top governing body demanded Wednesday the United States cancel planned joint military drills with South Korea, warning otherwise it would face a "greater threat."

The State Affairs Commission (SAC), chaired by leader Kim Jong-un, also repeated that Pyongyang would seek a "new way" unless Washington changes its stance and comes up with new solutions in their nuclear talks by the end of this year.

South Korea and the U.S. conducted regular joint drills in March and August this year, but the size of the drills was scaled back in an apparent effort not to provoke North Korea.

A SAC spokesman said the U.S. should suspend the drills "at a sensitive time when the situation on the Korean Peninsula could go back to the starting point due to the joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea," according the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The spokesman said the U.S. could face a "greater threat and be forced to admit its failure, being put into trouble before long if it doesn't do anything to change the trend of the present situation" on the Korean Peninsula.

The spokesman also said the drills violate agreements between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim.

"We, without being given anything, gave things the U.S. president can brag about but the U.S. side has not yet taken any corresponding step. Now, betrayal is only what we feel from the U.S. side," the spokesman said.

Nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang has been in limbo after their working-level talks on the North's denuclearization collapsed in October.

The talks in Stockholm -- the first since the collapse of February's summit between Trump and Kim -- ended without any agreement due to gaps between the two sides over the extent of Pyongyang's denuclearization and Washington's sanctions relief.

North Korea has stepped up pressure on the U.S. to meet the year-end deadline it has set for Washington to come up with a new proposal on how to exchange denuclearization measures and sanctions relief.
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