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NKorea Urges SKorea To Stop Military Exercises With US

Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland insisted the plan for joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States came at a time when the two Koreas were arranging military talks. "This is a very provocative act of negating the military talks themselves and pushing the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war pursuant to the US moves to start a war of aggression against the North," it said.Copyright AFP
by Staff Writers
Seoul, SKorea (AFP) Feb 06, 2006
North Korea warned Monday that there would no true progress in inter-Korean relations unless South Korea stopped all joint military exercises with the United States.

The warning came three days after South and North Korea agreed to resume high-level military talks by early March on easing tension along the world's last Cold War frontier.

Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland accused South Korea and the United States of going ahead with join war games targeting North Korea in March.

"The South Korean authorities should unconditionally stop all the joint military exercises with outside forces which would bring dark clouds of a nuclear war if they truly desire progress in the north-south relations and peace on the Korean Peninsula," it said in a statement published by the North's official KCNA news agency.

The committee insisted the plan for joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States came at a time when the two Koreas were arranging military talks.

"This is a very provocative act of negating the military talks themselves and pushing the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war pursuant to the US moves to start a war of aggression against the North," it said.

Economic exchanges between the rivals, which agreed only a ceasefire and not a formal peace accord to end the 1950-1953 Korean War, have greatly increased following an inter-Korean summit in 2000.

But North Korea has balked at high-level military talks with the South, citing various issues including South Korea's joint military exercises with the United States and a tense standoff with Washington over its nuclear weapons drive.

South Korea has rejected the North's consistent demand to sever a decades-long military alliance with Washington, which keeps troops here under a mutual defense pact.

North Korea is continuing economic and regular ministerial talks with the South Koreans. But it has refused to return to six-party nuclear talks unless the United States lifts sanctions over alleged counterfeiting and money laundering.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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