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article imageNorth Korea claims US South Korea exercises endanger diplomacy

By Ken Hanly     Jul 17, 2019 in Politics
Military exercises involving the US and South Korea have long been a source of increased tensions with North Korea. Nevertheless, the US is preparing to hold a new round of the exercises with the South.
The North Korean's see US actions as putting diplomacy at risk
The North Korean Foreign Ministry sees the joint exercises of the US and South Korea as placing future diplomacy on denuclearization of the peninsula at risk. The Ministry claims that US actions are directly opposed to their stated demands for a diplomatic settlement of issues. The strong North Korean reaction to the exercises is in spite of the fact that the exercises have been scaled down as reported on the appended video. This apparently was done so as to avoid any negative results for negotiations.
US actions may lead to the North resuming its testing
The North notes it has made its own gestures to support talks but the response of the US has not been reciprocal. The resumption of the military exercises could lead to the North reconsidering its own moves to support talks.
As a recent article notes: "Earlier, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Washington’s pattern of “unilaterally reneging on its commitments” was leading Pyongyang to reconsider its own commitments to discontinue tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.“Our discontinuation of the nuclear and ICBM tests and the U.S. suspension of joint military exercises are, to all its intents and purposes, commitments made to improve bilateral relations. They are not a legal document inscribed on a paper,” it said. In another statement carried by the state news agency KCNA, a foreign ministry spokesman accused Washington and Seoul of pressing ahead with the Dong Maeng military drills this summer, and called them a “rehearsal of war.”"
Some of the exercises appear to be mock invasions of the North.
The North Koreans could very well go back to intercontinental missile and nuclear tests and the situation would be back to where it was before talks even began.
A recent article sums up the reaction of the North: "North Korea says it is rethinking whether to abide by its moratorium on nuclear and missile tests and other steps aimed at improving ties with the US. The statement blames upcoming regular US-South Korean military drills."
The North Korea threat may be meant to deter the joint exercises
It is not clear that the North really needs that much more testing. The threat to resume the testing may be meant to try and get the US to at least postpone the exercises before new diplomatic talks between Kim Jong-un and President Trump.
More about North Korea US relations, Joint US South Korea military exercises, US North Korea diplomacy
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