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North Korea: U.S. is trying to ruin inter-Korean relations

By Jennie Oh
North Korea: U.S. is trying to ruin inter-Korean relations
North Korean soldiers stand guard during a high level inter-Korean meeting at the border village of Panmunjom. Photo Courtesy of EPA-EFE/Jung Ui-chel

SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- North Korea has accused the United States of devising ways to "intentionally" harm inter-Korean relations.

A commentary published Sunday in the Rodong Sinmun, a paper issued by the ruling Workers' Party, said the U.S. is "creating instability in an intentional and calculated manner at a time when the world is welcoming dialogue between the North and South."

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This comes after South Korean and U.S. officials last week confirmed that their bilateral military drills will not scrapped this spring.

The annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises were postponed until after the Pyeongchang Olympics and Paralympics on the request of South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, in a bid to defuse tensions with the North which sees the exercises as a rehearsal for invasion.

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The commentary said, "The U.S. is encroaching onto the Korean peninsula with its vast forces for war, scheduling another exercise to rehearse invasive war."

The regime's propaganda website Uriminzokkiri also criticized the recent Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) meeting of senior South Korean and U.S. foreign affairs and defense officials in Washington.

It said, "South Korea ungratefully choosing to take anti-ethnic measures and repaying virtue with vice cannot but generate anger and dismay."

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Crediting the North's "broadminded tolerance" and "sincere efforts" for the recent change in atmosphere between the two Koreas, the outlet claimed "cooperating with Washington's scheme for a military clash is like opening the door for a robber."

This kind of action will "extinguish the spark of improved North-South relations" and "only bring tragic consequences," the outlet said.

Another commentary in the Rodong Sinmun also condemned "anti-unification forces" within and outside the South who do not wish for improvement in inter-Korean relations.

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Conservative politicians and media in the South have voiced concern that the North is trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington while continuing to pursue nuclear and missile development, despite its Olympic participation and recent reconciliatory attitude toward the South.

"Because of the conservatives creating an internal rift in the South, provoking antagonism between compatriots, North-South relations have become complicated and the Winter Olympic Games could turn to shambles," it warned.

The paper said the regime cannot condone such "moves to pick a fight and cause disturbances by calling efforts for improved relations an attempt to damage [South Koreas] ties with the U.S."

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The two Koreas must make all the more effort to improve cross-border ties, it said.

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