Feb. 19 (UPI) -- North Korea accused Japan of harboring ambitions to reinvade the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday, in a reference to joint drills with the United States.
Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA said U.S.-Japan military exercises are provocative and "conducted frequently," citing drills that took place Feb. 3.
The exercises took place on Japan's northern coast, between the U.S. Air Force and Japan's Self-Defense Forces, and included the deployment of a B-52H strategic bomber, F-16 and F-2 fighter jets. The bomber had joined the drill from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
"This is a blindly aggressive act that severely threatens the region," KCNA said. "It shows Japan is trying to realize great power military status while harboring ambitions of reinvasion."
Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula in the first half of the 20th century.
Pyongyang also criticized Seoul for taking part in Sea Dragon 2020, a multilateral exercise involving the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
According to the U.S. Pacific Command in January, the purpose of the training was to "improve and evaluate the interoperability elements required to effectively and cohesively respond to the defense of a regional contingency in the Indo-Pacific."
In a separate message, North Korea said South Korean President Moon Jae-in had made inappropriate remarks during a video message to the U.S. National Governors Association on Feb. 8.
North Korea propaganda service Uriminzokkiri said in the statement issued Wednesday Moon was "clinging to dependency" on foreign powers.
Moon had said the U.S.-South Korea alliance is critical to maintaining peace and freedom on the peninsula. On Wednesday North Korea said the alliance increases tensions and the risk of war.
The United States and South Korea are in the midst of negotiating a defense burden sharing agreement, following demands from the Trump administration Seoul pay as much as $5 billion annually for maintaining 28,500 U.S. troops on the peninsula.
Yonhap reported Wednesday Seoul is to supply an additional $1 billion for U.S. military base projects. The budget reflects a $115 million increase from last year, according to the report.