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North slams South for joining military drills

June 04,2018
North Korea criticized South Korea’s participation in military exercises with the United States on Sunday, saying it ran counter to a declaration signed by the two Koreas’ leaders earlier this year.

In an editorial, the Rodong Sinmun, the official state paper, took shots at South Korea’s plans to take part in the Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) and Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises.

Rimpac is scheduled to run from June 27 to Aug. 2 and includes 20 countries, while Ulchi Freedom Guardian, which involves South Korean and U.S. forces, will take place in early August.

Pyongyang has been critical of these exercises in recent weeks and said that the Panmunjom Declaration, signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on April 27, should prevent what Pyongyang believes are rehearsals for war.

“The North and South are now faced with a monumental task of easing military tensions and realizing peace on the Korean Peninsula by faithfully implementing the Panmunjom Declaration,” the editorial read in Korean. “Dialogue and confrontation, and peace and war exercises can never go hand in hand.”

The Rodong Sinmun called Rimpac “a product of the Cold War era” that serves the purpose of forming a blockade around a sovereign state such as North Korea.