N. Korea Warns US to Stop Military Exercises with South
Daniel Schearf | Hanoi 22 July 2010
North Korea has said the United States must halt plans for military exercises with South Korea, if it wants to see a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. The warning came on the sidelines of a regional security meeting in Vietnam, which U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is attending.
North Korea delivered the warning on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Regional Forum.
The annual security meeting brings together foreign ministers from ASEAN's 10 members as well as 16 other nations and the European Union.
A spokesman for North Korea's delegation, Ri Tong Il, told journalists the United States must call off military exercises planned with South Korea for Sunday.
He says the military exercises and sanctions imposed on the North do not facilitate a dialog. He says the United States should "practically contribute" to peace in the region.
The exercises are intended as a show of force against North Korea after the sinking of a South Korean navy ship in March that killed 46 sailors.
Washington and Seoul say a North Korean torpedo sunk the ship. Pyongyang denies it was responsible.
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced further sanctions against Pyongyang.
Clinton and South Korea's foreign minister are also attending the ASEAN meetings in Hanoi, where further discussion of North Korea and its pursuit of nuclear weapons are expected to be high on the agenda.
ASEAN's members are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
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