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US war games in South Korea promote arms race in Northeast Asia — paper

August 26, 2014, 12:29 UTC+3 PYONGYANG
North Korea’s newspaper says the US and South Korea authorities will have to “pay a high price for these dangerous military manoeuvres that are conducted against the North Korean peace initiatives”
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© EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

PYONGYANG, August 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The US endless war games near the coast of the Korean Peninsula “promote arms race in the Northeast Asia,” North Korea’s (DPRK) Rodong Sinmun newspaper said on Tuesday.

The newspaper, an organ of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), said in a commentary that the large-scale American - South Korean exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), launched on August 18 and that lasts for two weeks, reflect the “policy of nuclear blackmail of the allies and their mutual desire to exert pressure on Pyongyang.”

The newspaper said it is nonsense for South Korea and the United States to say UFG is a routine defense-oriented training exercise. “If such a provocative rehearsal for nuclear warfare continues in South Korea, we will take self-defensive measures, more strongly, to protect world peace and stability without pause,” it said.

Rodong Sinmun says the US and South Korea authorities will have to “pay a high price for these extremely dangerous military manoeuvres that are conducted against the DPRK peace initiatives.”

The North’s state-controlled media also demanded the world speak up against the UFG. “The international community should take issue with the joint military exercise being conducted in South Korea,” the Rodong Sinmun said. It reiterated Pyongyang’s claim that the UN has a double standard when it comes to the North’s military drills and those by the allies.

ITAR-TASS UN correspondent Oleg Zelenin said North Korea on Monday demanded from the UN Security Council to meet its requests to conduct an urgent meeting over the US - South Korean war games. “We sent a letter again to the UN Security Council requesting it discuss the South Korea-US joint military training as an emergency agenda,” Ri Tong-il, the North's deputy chief of mission to the UN said at a news conference in New York. The Security Council ignored Pyongyang’s corresponding requests in July and August.

The DPRK diplomat said that by its silence the UN Security Council sends a wrong signal to the international community and encourages the United States to continue the provocative, aggressive and very dangerous manoeuvres, targeted against DPRK.

The UFG exercise, in which computer simulation is widely used, involves 50,000 South Korean and 30,000 American troops, including 3,000 troops redeployed to South Korea from the US continental part and US military bases abroad. Pyongyang says this demonstration of force is a rehearsal for invasion of DPRK.

After the end of the Korean War (195-1953), the two Koreas have not signed a peace treaty, remaining technically at war.

The number of American troops currently stationed in the South of the Korean Peninsula is 28,500.

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