South Korea was rebuked by North Korea on Wednesday for persisting with a joint military drill with the US despite being warned.
Senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol declared in a statement published by state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that Seoul’s pledges of “peace and trust” were just a charade since they preferred an alliance with “foreigners” instead of “compatriots.”
According to the Yonhap news agency, preparatory military drills have commenced as South Korea and the United States prepare for full-scale exercises slated for August 16-26.
South Korea said on Tuesday that the North did not respond to routine calls on inter-Korean hotlines that were just reconnected after Pyongyang cut them off a year ago.
Kim Yong Chol was quoted by KCNA to have said
While Seoul and Washington asserted that the preparatory exercises are aimed to evaluate the ability of the partners to respond to a potential emergency, Pyongyang considers them as a confrontation.
He further said
The US has implemented sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Washington has reportedly announced that the lifting of sanctions is not a requirement for initiating dialogues with Pyongyang.
Last week, US State Department spokesman Ned Price indicated that the Biden administration embraces the reopening of inter-Korean communication lines and is interested in meeting with North Korean officials “anytime, anywhere, and without preconditions.”