Joint military training root of tension in the Korean Peninsula: N Korea

Pyongyang: North Korea’s main newspaper on Friday slammed the joint drills by the USA and South Korea again, labeling it as a move which is the “root of tensions” in the Korean Peninsula.

“These joint training exercises that the South Korean military held with the U.S. go against people’s aims and the international community’s demands,” stated a commentary published in the Rodong Sinmun.

This comes as the United States and South Korea held joint drills last month to combat the evasion of sanctions by the elusive state through maritime channels, like the illegal ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and goods, reports Yonhap News Agency.

“Joint military training with foreign forces, which is the root of the tension on the Korean Peninsula, should not be allowed, and the deployment of military equipment from outside, including strategic assets, should also be completely suspended,” the newspaper stated.

South Korea, under President Moon Jae-in, is pursuing its Sunshine Policy in full force, with Moon reiterating his desire for establishing long-lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and the subsequent reunification of the Koreas.

He has undertaken proactive steps to improve South Korea’s relations with North Korea and strengthen cooperation between the two Korean countries, under its policy.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump, along with Moon, scrapped their Key Resolve and Foal Eagle series of exercises, replacing them with a set of lower-level drills, with the nine-day Dong-Maeng exercise commencing last month.

“The reason I do not want military drills with South Korea is to save hundreds of millions of dollars for the US for which we are not reimbursed. That was my position long before I became President. Also, reducing tensions with North Korea at this time is a good thing!” the US President tweeted soon after.

The second US-North Korea summit ended abruptly in Hanoi in February as the two countries failed to resolve their differences over sanctions relief. US President Donald Trump, however, has maintained that relations with North Korea continue to be good, going as far as canceling new sanctions against Pyongyang, deeming them as unnecessary.