North Korea urges South Korea to cancel military drills with US

Seoul, Feb 6: North Korea Thursday urged South Korea to cancel its joint military exercises with the US scheduled to start later this month.

North Korea’s National Defence Commission said in a statement that dialogue and rehearsal for war of aggression can never be compatible, Xinhua reported.

Citing negative reports by a section of the South Korean media on North Korea’s top leader Kim Jong-un’s recent visit to childcare centres, the commission said that the implementation of the agreement between the two countries, apparently pointing to the agreed reunion of separated families, might have to be reviewed if South Korea’s slandering of its supreme dignity continues.

The statement came a day after the two countries agreed to hold reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War from Feb 20 to 25, the first in more than three years, at North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort.

Seoul and Washington will conduct joint annual military exercises in February, which Pyongyang has denounced as a rehearsal for an invasion. The beginning of the joint drills was expected to coincide with the families’ reunion date.

The South Korean military has confirmed that it would carry out the military exercises with the US as scheduled, noting that the military drills were defensive in nature.

The military is yet to announce the detailed schedule for the drills.