North Korea asks US to end military drills with South Korea

North Korea on Monday accused the United States of maintaining a “hostile policy” and demanded the Biden administration permanently end joint military exercises with South Korea.

Kim Song’s request, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, on the final day of the annual UN General Assembly summit came shortly after South Korea reported that North Korea had conducted another short-range missile test.

North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Song speaks at the United Nations General Assembly, September 27, 2021, at United Nations headquarters.  (Photo: AP)

North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Song speaks at the United Nations General Assembly, September 27, 2021, at United Nations headquarters. (Photo: AP)

“If the US wants to see an end to the Korean War, the world’s most protracted and longest war, and if it truly wants peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, America must take the first step to stop its hostile policy towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, by stopping permanently joint military exercises, and the proliferation of all kinds of strategic weapons aimed at North Korea on the Korean Peninsula and beyond,” said Kim Song.

Kim demanded that the United States “permanently” stop its military exercises with South Korea, which North Korea has traditionally described as an invasion rehearsal.

He said Washington must withdraw its strategic weapons from the region “if it really wants peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.”

The United States has about 28,000 troops in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from North Korea.

The United States and North Korea say the two countries’ joint military exercises are defensive in nature, and have canceled or scaled back the drills in recent years to create space for diplomatic efforts to tackle North Korea’s nuclear program. [lt/uh]

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