Korea Republic spurns Korea DPR call to stop joint drills with United States

South Korea on Thursday rejected North Korea’s call to end joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises, defending the joint moves as only “defensive” in nature.

“Joint military drills between South Korea and the U.S. are something that are annual and defensive,” Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said in a regular briefing.

The drills cannot be a matter of precondition for inter-Korean exchanges, Kim said. “It is a must-have to prepare against North Korea’s (potential) invasion of the South,” he said.

On Wednesday, North Korea called on the allies to halt the drills in a statement issued by its foreign ministry, saying, “Talks are possible and many other problems can be solved if the U.S. ditches provocative behaviors like joint military drills and decide to go another path.”

The U.S. Defense Department also dismissed the call in a Voice of America report earlier in the day, defending the drills as transparent and regular, with a defensive purpose.

The North has often taken issue with the allies’ joint drills, denouncing them as a rehearsal to invade North Korea. (Yonhap)

The Korea Herald

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