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North Korea slams South for military exercises

U.S.-South Korea military drills violate a 2018 inter-Korea pact, Pyongyang's propaganda service Uriminzokkiri said Friday. File Photo by Yonhap
U.S.-South Korea military drills violate a 2018 inter-Korea pact, Pyongyang's propaganda service Uriminzokkiri said Friday. File Photo by Yonhap

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- North Korea accused the South of breaking with a previous military agreement on Friday.

Pyongyang propaganda service Uriminzokkiri said in a statement the South's 2020 report on military activities, made available earlier this week, endangers a 2018 pact regarding both armies, while planned U.S.-South Korea exercises in the spring are a violation.

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On Tuesday, South Korea confirmed its military budget had reached $42 billion, an $8.6 billion increase since President Moon Jae-in assumed office in 2017.

South Korea's military is engaged in the "violent destruction of the North-South military agreement" and invites "dangerous military confrontation," North Korean state media said.

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"South Korea's 2020 military report...exposes the vile mindset of the South Korean military that wishes to harm a unitary people."

South Korea's deterrence strategy includes the "4Ds" -- "detect, decide, defeat and defend" -- against potential North Korean incursions.

North Korea's warnings to the South come at a time when it is "taking national measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus."

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According to propaganda service So Kwang on Thursday, North Korea is making nationwide efforts to prevent the virus spreading from China, its biggest trading partner.

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So Kwang also said North Korea is "working in close cooperation with the World Health Organization" as the virus "spreads to various countries around the world."

North Korea has reportedly banned tourism until further notice, China-based travel agencies have said.

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North Korea has previously had to deal with epidemics originating from China, including African swine fever, a deadly outbreak among pigs and other species of hog.

Yonhap reported Friday South Korea has confirmed new cases of ASF at the border. A total of two wild boar, one in Hwacheon, Gangwon Province, and another in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, have been recently found.

A total of 106 wild boar, including wild boar carcass, have been found to have been infected since 2019.

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