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North Korea's criticism of military drill not conducive to ties, says Seoul

South Korea says it remains committed to the summit agreements reached last year

ANI  |  Asia 

North Korea
Undated: This Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, photo provided by the North Korean government shows what it says the launch of a new-type tactical guided missile at an airfield in the western area of North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to

The unification ministry here on Monday refuted North Korea's criticisms regarding the ongoing joint military exercises between and the United States, saying it is a violation of agreements between the two Koreas and would not help in advancing ties.

Last week, had lashed out at and Washington over the joint military exercise that kicked off earlier this month. The North, in a statement on Sunday, said inter-Korean dialogue will be on hold till gives a "plausible excuse" for the drill, Yonhap news agency reported.

"(We) want to point out that the criticism by North Korea's foreign ministry and its media outlets against our government mentioning the South Korea-U.S. joint exercise does not help advance inter-Korean relations at all," Lee Sang-min, the ministry's spokesperson, said at a press briefing.

"The exercise is not a field training aimed at the North, but a joint command post drill intended to prepare for the transfer of wartime operational control (from Washington to Seoul)," he said.

"It is not a violation of North-South military agreements," the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson noted that remains committed to the summit agreements reached last year between the two Koreas, urging Pyongyang to respond to Seoul's efforts to move inter-Korean ties forward.

South and signed military deals last September, in which they agreed to reduce cross-border tensions. has called Seoul-Washington military drills a "rehearsal for invasion."

North Korea fired two more projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Saturday, the latest in a series of moves against the joint exercise between and Washington.

US President Donald Trump had said in a tweet last week that he received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in which he said the leader expressed his displeasure with the joint military exercise but voiced hope to start their stalled nuclear talks as soon as the drill is over.

First Published: Mon, August 12 2019. 09:39 IST
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