Published: Tue, August 22, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

DPRK Rejects US and South Korean Joint Military Exercises

DPRK Rejects US and South Korean Joint Military Exercises

North Korea, however, sees them as practice for an eventual invasion.

Dialling back military exercises was not now on the negotiating table with North Korea, Dunford said. Guam is a US island territory that is home to two American military bases. Impoverished North Korea hates the drills in part because they force it to respond with expensive military measures of its own.

"No one can guarantee that this will not escalate into a real war", it said, calling the annual drills a "rehearsal for nuclear war" and the "most naked expression of hostility" toward the North.

In a commentary carried by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the North warned of an "uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war" on the peninsula, which would entangle the US mainland.

Despite the threat, USA and South Korean militaries launched this year's 11-day training on Monday morning as scheduled.

"Not long after the Australian prime minister had stated that they would join in the aggressive moves of the United States, even referring to ANZUS which exists in name only, the Australian military announced that they would dispatch their troops to the aggressive nuclear exercises of the USA", a North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said in a statement, released on the eve of the event.

China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, has urged the United States and South Korea to scrap the exercises. Russian Federation has also asked for the drills to stop but the US has not backed down.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the current situation on the Korean peninsula is highly sensitive and all parties should make joint efforts to ease the tension.

Perry says North Korea anxious then and worries now that the United States will try to overthrow its government so a nuclear bomb is its best defense.

Both men were born in North Korea, and spoke Korean with a heavy Northern accent.

The "lax enforcement" of existing sanctions and Pyongyang's "evolving evasion techniques" were undermining the U.N. goal of getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, according to the report by independent U.N. experts who monitor sanctions violations for the U.N. Security Council.

The U.S. generals were to travel to the site of a contentious U.S. missile-defense system in South Korea later Tuesday.

Last week, President Donald Trump threatened to rain down "fire and fury" if challenged by North Korea.

Leader Kim Jong Un last week delayed the Guam strike plan, but warned it could go ahead depending on Washington's next move.

Harris has been joined by U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, while Samuel Greaves, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, is also expected to visit South Korea later this week.

The United States has about 28,000 troops in South Korea. This year's drill, much of it computer-simulated, will be similar in size to that of last year's but it is not known whether the US will be sending strategic assets.

North Korea has warned the U.S. will be "pouring gasoline on the fire" by conducting a war game with its long-time southern foe.

The annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise begins on Monday and involves more than 17,000 American troops along with small contingents from Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

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