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People's Daily Online

DPRK denounces Hoguk military drills in S.Korea again

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 18:28, November 13, 2014

PYONGYANG, Nov. 13 -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday again condemned South Korean authorities for conducting the largest ever 'Hoguk' military drills that started Monday despite Pyongyang's effort to improve north-south relations.

'The Hoguk drills more bellicose than ever before are an intolerable mockery at all Koreans and the international community desirous of improved inter-Korean relations and peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and an unpardonable grave provocation,' the National Peace Committee of Korea said in a statement.

The committee also accused Seoul of firing bullets at DPRK's warship on routine patrol in hot-spot waters off the western coast and conniving at the drop of anti-DPRK leaflets, which drove the north-south relations to an extreme phase of confrontation.

The 'Hoguk' annual drills, which are scheduled to run from Nov. 10 to Nov. 21 this year and are the largest ever, mobilize 330,000 troops. Last year, about 80,000 soldiers participated in the exercise.

The drills also involve about 23,000 mobile military equipment, 60 warships and numerous airplanes, according to South Korea's defense ministry.

The 'Hoguk' drills replaced in 1996 the Team Spirit exercise between South Korea and the United States.

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