- North Korea cries foul as the US, South Korea begin their joint military exercise.
- North Korea fires "unidentified projectiles," in a clear sign of protest.
- Pyongyang warns that Washington's decision to go ahead with the joint military exercise will derail the ongoing Pyongyang-Washington talks.
As joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea began on Monday, North Korea for the fourth time in less than two weeks fired “unidentified projectiles,” in a clear protest and opposition to Washington-Seoul military co-operation. North Korea on Tuesday said that US and South Korean joint military maneuvers were not only a violation of peace efforts on the Korean peninsula but also showed a lack of “political will “of the two countries to improve relations.”
The statement by a spokesman for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs was broadcast by the official KCNA North Korea’s news agency. “Despite our repeated warnings, the US and South Korean authorities have finally started joint military maneuvers targeting the DPRK,” said KCNA, using the acronym for the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “This is an undisguised denial and flagrant violation” of several agreements reached between Pyongyang and Washington, the agency says.
KCNA quotes “the US-DPRK joint communiqué of June 12, the Panmunjom Declaration and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration in September, all of which are agreements to establish new US-DPRK relations and to build a peace regime sustainable and stable in the Korean peninsula.”
4th salvo of “projectiles” in 8 days
After a year of increasing tensions and mutual threats, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a historic summit in Singapore in June 2018, after which Kim Jong Un signed a pledge in which he undertook to work for “the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
A second summit, held last February in Hanoi, came to a standstill because of disagreement over the issue of lifting the economic sanctions to which North Korea is subject and the concessions that Pyongyang could make in return. At an impromptu meeting in June in Panmunjom, in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas, Trump and Kim decided to resume negotiations on nuclear power. But these discussions haven’t kicked off yet.
Pyongyang warned last week that the planned new talks on nuclear power might not take place if Seoul and Washington maintained what it terms as ‘their joint military maneuvers‘. The so-called maneuvers began on Monday, this week.
The firing of unidentified North Korean “missiles” reported by the South Korean agency on Tuesday comes after three more weapons tests in the last eight days.