PYONGYANG, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Saturday accused the United States of spoiling the hard-won humanitarian dialogue atmosphere.
The U.S.-South Korea large-scale joint military exercises, as the most blatant "nuclear blackmail" against the DPRK, "has gone far from the country's tolerance and patience, and beclouded the atmosphere of humanitarian dialogue," the official KCNA news agency quoted a spokesman of the DPRK Foreign Ministry as saying.
Although the United Stated repeatedly flied B-52H strategic bombers into the sky above the Korean Peninsula, "we have exercised utmost self-restraint to prevent a vicious cycle of escalating tension at any cost," said the spokesman in a statement.
"We intended to accept the proposal for a visit by a special envoy of the U.S. State Department and have a sincere discussion on the issue of a sentenced U.S. citizen a humanitarian viewpoint," it said.
The United Stated, however, "acted by floating misinformation that the DPRK disallowed all of a sudden the visit of the special envoy without any proper reason," said the statement.
Robert King, an American envoy charged with human rights issues related to the DPRK, had planned to visit Pyongyang in a bid to seek freedom for Kenneth Bae, a 45-year-old Korean-American man sentenced in late April to 15 years of hard labor for "hostile acts" against the country.
Bae, who was detained in the DPRK in November, has been hospitalized recently as he reportedly suffers a number of health problems.
The U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf on Friday expressed surprise and disappointment over the DPRK's decision.
"We remain gravely concerned about Mr. Bae's health and we continue to urge the DPRK authorities to grant Mr. Bae special amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds," she added.
The 12-day "Ulji Freedom Guardian" U.S.-South Korea military exercises were completed on Friday.
PYONGYANG, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Thursday condemned a U.S.-South Korea drill as "war preparedness" and "confrontational policy," warning it only cast shadow to the hard-won atmosphere for dialogue. Full story
SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the United States launched their joint annual military exercise on Monday as planned amid easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The computer-assisted simulation exercise, dubbed Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), was opened for a 12-day run, mobilizing around 50, 00 South Korean troops and 30,000 U.S. forces, including some 3, 000 soldiers from the United States and other bases in the Pacific region. Full story