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People's Daily Online

DPRK slams U.S.-South Korea military drills, casts doubt on North-South summit

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 13:11, August 02, 2021

PYONGYANG, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday night urged South Korea to cancel its regular joint military exercises with the United States and said a North-South leader-level summit remains unlikely in the short term, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

The joint military drills are "an undesirable prelude which seriously undermines the will of the top leaders of the North and the South wishing to see a step taken toward restoring mutual trust and which beclouds the way ahead of the north-south relations," said Kim Yo Jong, vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, in a statement.

"Our government and army will closely follow whether the South Korean side stages hostile war exercises in August or makes other bold decision," she said.

The DPRK has long denounced Seoul and Washington's military drills as a rehearsal for an invasion of the North. The two Koreas remain technically at war after the 1950-1953 Korean War was ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

Kim also accused the South Korean government of "inflating the significance" of last week's restoration of the two Koreas' cross-border communication lines, which had been severed for over a year.

Those inside and outside South Korea "are freely interpreting" the meaning of restoring communication lines, and "it is a premature hasty judgment" to say that there is a public opinion about the issue of the North-South summit, she noted.

"What I think is that the restoration of the communication liaison lines should not be taken as anything more than just the physical reconnection," said Kim, adding that hasty speculation and groundless interpretation will only bring despair.

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