Conflicts & War

Kim’s sister slams South Korea, US over joint drills

Seoul, Aug 10 (EFE).- The sister of North Korea’s leader slammed South Korea and the United States on Tuesday for not canceling their joint military exercises scheduled for this month after warning earlier that going ahead with them would not help fuel dialog on the peninsula.

“The US and the South Korean army desperately started joint military exercises further accelerating the instable situation despite the unanimous denunciation and rejection at home and abroad,” Kim Yo-jong, vice-department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, said in a statement published by state news agency KCNA on Tuesday.

Ten days ago, Kim had warned that holding the summer joint exercises could jeopardize the progress made in inter-Korean relations after the two neighbors restarted communication hotlines at Pyongyang’s request on July 27.

The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un described the exercises as “the most vivid expression of the US hostile policy towards the DPRK, designed to stifle our state by force, and an unwelcoming act of self-destruction” and warned that “a dear price should be paid as they threaten the safety of our people and further imperil the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

The drills consist of two parts: one conducted over Aug. 10-13 to review the response of the troops to unexpected pre-war incidents, followed by the “combined command exercise” during Aug. 16-26, which comprises the bulk of the maneuvers and consists mainly of computer simulations.

“Whatever the scale and mode, the joint military exercises are of aggressive nature as they are a war rehearsal and preliminary nuclear war exercise,” Kim Yo-jong added, recalling that Pyongyang has always denounced these maneuvers as a rehearsal to invade its territory.

She accused the US of pushing forward with the “war drills” at a time “when the international eyes are focused on the development of the situation on the peninsula.”

“This also proves that ‘diplomatic engagement’ and ‘dialog with no strings attached’ touted by the present US administration is hypocrisy to cover up its aggressive nature,” she added.

She also expressed “deep regret at the perfidious behavior of the South Korean authorities.”

The reestablishment of communication channels between the Koreas two weeks ago has raised hopes of an improvement in inter-Korean ties and the resumption of denuclearization talks with the US.

However, Tuesday’s statement seems to have cast a shadow on that possibility. EFE


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