SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's defense ministry said on Thursday that joint military drills between Seoul and Washington will be conducted as scheduled despite demand from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to cancel it.
"Key Resolve and Foal Eagle will be carried out as scheduled," Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a routine press briefing. "If North Korea (DPRK) makes military provocations citing our normal military exercises, our military will sternly and ruthlessly retaliate against such provocations."
South Korea and the United States plan to conduct the computer- simulated "Key Resolve" command post exercise and the "Foal Eagle" field training exercise from late February to April.
The DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said Wednesday that Seoul and Washington must cancel their annual military drills, noting that those are "little short of the declaration of an all-out nuclear war."
The committee warned of an "unimaginable holocaust and disaster " and crisis of inter-Korean ties if "the rehearsal for a nuclear invasion into the DPRK" is to be pushed ahead.
South Korea claimed that the joint military drills are defensive in nature, but the DPRK denounced the drills as a rehearsal for a northward invasion. Last year, the U.S. military mobilized B-52 strategic bombers and B-2 stealth bombers for the joint drills.
"North Korea (DPRK) should first show sincere attitudes and take sincere measures toward its nuclear programs, and refrain from criticizing the military exercises of defensive nature," said Kim.
The spokesman said that progress in inter-Korean relations can be made when resolving the DPRK's nuclear issue, adding that the DPRK's threats that the inter-Korean ties can be jeopardized was self-contradictory as Pyongyang touched on the need for the end of slander and calumny to each other in its New Year's message.
DPRK demands cancellation of U.S.-S.Korea military exercises
PYONGYANG, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) demanded on Wednesday that the United States and South Korea cancel their annual joint military drills due to begin next month.
The announcement of the drills is "little short of the declaration of a total nuclear stand-off," a spokesman of the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea was quoted as saying in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency. Full story