Seoul (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister warned on Sunday that a joint US-South Korean military drill next month would hurt the prospects of better relations between the two Koreas. Rival countries will restart their communication channels.
Kim Yo Jong’s statement only mentions South Korea, which may support the theory that the North Korean decision to resume communications is an attempt to pressure the South to make concessions to Washington on the nuclear issue.
Kim Yo Jong said, “For several days I have been hearing this unpleasant story that military exercises between the South Korean army and the US military will take place as scheduled.”
“I consider this an undesirable preamble that seriously undermines the intention of the leaders of North and South Korea to take steps to restore mutual trust, and undermines the path to better relations between the North and South, ‘ said the sister of the ruler.
“Our government and our military will closely monitor to see if the South Korean side conducts hostile warfare exercises in August or makes any other hostile decisions,” he said.
Joint exercises between North American and South Korean forces are routine, but they have increased tensions on the peninsula. North Korea sees them as a test case for aggression and often responds with missile launch tests. The United States and South Korea insist that the maneuvers are only for defense strategies.