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MON, 2014-11-24  KST

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Pyongyang urges Seoul to call off joint military drills with Washington
Updated: 2014-02-07 06:28:08 KST

Just one day after the two Koreas agreed to resume the long-suspended family reunions, North Korea called on the South to halt its upcoming annual military drills with the United States, threatening to reconsider their previous agreement.


"We're clearly stating that dialogue and invasive war practices can never co-exist, just as reconciliation and conflict can't."

The two Koreas agreed on Wednesday to resume reunions for families separated since the Korean War from February 20th to the 25th.
The dates coincide with Seoul and Washington's Key Resolve exercises, which begin in the last week of February every year.
North Korea had been continuously calling for a cancellation of the drills, although it made no mention of them during Wednesday's talks.
In response, South Korea's Unification Ministry said the annual military exercises are purely defensive in nature and reiterated the issue would be dealt with separately from family reunions.


"We can only take North Korea's change in attitude as an attempt to either stop our justified military exercises or to call off the family reunions."

The ministry said the family reunions must be held as planned no matter what, as the eldery divided family members should not have to go through the disappointment of another canceled event.
North Korea called off a round of family reunions last September just days before they were to take place.


"Amid the uncertainty, Seoul's unification ministry said a team of South Korean engineers will cross the border on Friday as planned to check on the facilities at the reunion site.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News."

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