Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Civic groups demand suspension of military drills with U.S. for confidence building with N. Korea

All News 09:57 January 28, 2021

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- Nearly 400 local and foreign civic groups on Thursday urged South Korea and the United States to suspend joint military drills as a "major confidence-building measure" toward North Korea.

A total of 387 organizations, including 197 South Korean civic groups, made the appeal weeks after North Korea demanded an end to such combined military exercises during a recent party congress.

"Suspending these costly and highly provocative war exercises will be a crucial step toward re-starting genuine diplomacy with North Korea," they said in a joint statement.

"It will remove a formidable obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the ongoing 70-year-old Korean War and allow all parties to focus on other intractable global issues facing our nations today, such as creating a nuclear weapons-free world and resolving the current COVID-19 pandemic," they added. "We want peace talks, not war drills and military confrontation."

The civic groups noted that suspending the combined military exercises will serve as a "major confidence-building measure" that will help kick-start diplomacy and achieve lasting peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Seoul and Washington have held combined military exercises on a regular basis, and the springtime one is supposed to be staged around March.

North Korea has long demanded an end to such drills. Leader Kim Jong-un renewed the demand during a recent congress of the ruling Workers' Party, citing it as a crucial matter to improve cross-border ties, and also urged Washington to give up its hostile policy toward Pyongyang.

South Korea has said that it is willing to discuss the matter through a joint military committee with the North.

At a press conference on Monday, Unification Minister Lee In-young expressed hope for a "wise" and "flexible" solution on whether to hold joint military drills with the U.S. so that the issue will not cause serious tensions on the Korean Peninsula.


Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!