North Korea demands South suspend joint military drills

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea demands South suspend joint military drills
North Korea issued a statement of warning to the South on Thursday, local time, demanding an end to military drills with the United States. (UPI Photo/James Mossman/USAF) | License Photo

May 3 (UPI) -- North Korea accused the South of engaging in "military hostilities" and demanded Seoul put an immediate end to what it described as a threat at its border.

The statement critical of Seoul's policies comes at a time when millions of South Koreans are headed to the polls to elect a new president.


Pyongyang's propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri issued the message on Thursday, local time, charging South Korea's caretaker government with "following the United States, while denying a unitary [Korean] people."

"The South Korean authorities should abandon all military hostilities that threaten the peace and security of the Korean peninsula," the North Korean statement read.

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The propaganda outlet proposed "three principles" under which Korean unification must take place, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

"Through our own strength as a people, we can resolve the military tensions between North and South, and single-mindedly protect the peace and security of the Korean peninsula," the North Korea statement read.

Pyongyang also condemned joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises.

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"Every year dangerous drills carrying out North Korea invasion exercises are destroying peace on the peninsula and are a source of trouble, driving the people to live under the threat of nuclear warfare."


North Korea then threatened to bring about "ultimate destruction" if the military exercises in the South continue despite the warnings.

In May, North Korea is to observe the 45th anniversary of the high-level political talks between founder Kim Il Sung and South Korean politicians.

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According to Uriminzokkiri, the three principles of unification that were discussed at the time became part of the Joint Declaration between North and South made on July 4, 1972.

Earlier in the week, North Korea denounced the United States for carrying out "nuclear bombing drills" while deploying B-1B supersonic bombers.

The deployment was later confirmed by the U.S. and South Korea militaries.

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