DPRK urges South Korea to stop military drills with U.S.

Li Jiayao

PYONGYANG, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Thursday urged South Korea to stop its joint military drills with the United States and stop using northern defectors to attack Pyongyang, so that inter-Korean talks could be resumed.

Pyongyang suspended inter-Korean talks on Wednesday to protest a two-week-long large-scale U.S.-South Korean air drill which will last until May 25.

Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK, was quoted by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying that South Korean authorities launched "the extremely adventurous 2018 Max Thunder joint air combat exercises with the U.S. which was aimed at precision strike on key strategic objects of the DPRK and the seizure of the air control."

"On the other hand, they let human scum hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and its social system and speak ill of the historic Panmunjom Declaration at the 'National Assembly,'" he said, in reference to the appearance of northern defectors at the South Korean parliament.

The DPRK took "a resolute step" to postpone the north-south high-level talks indefinitely until the South Korean authorities "take a responsible measure, and notified it to them and made this public through a KCNA report," he said.

Holding South Korea completely responsible for the suspension of inter-Korean talks, he also blamed Seoul for expressing regret over Pyongyang's decision to suspend the talks, "far from thinking over the meaning of the step taken by the DPRK and taking necessary follow-up measures."

"All the confrontation rackets kicked up by them have had something in common with the nature of the conservative regime which had been engaged in inciting hostility and division in the past," said the DPRK official in charge of several rounds of inter-korean talks at Panmunjom.

Top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met on April 27 for a historic summit at Panmunjom and issued a joint declaration calling for improving inter-Korean relations and working for complete denuclearization of the peninsula.


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