North Korea slams US for military exercise with South Korea

March 3rd, 2008 - 12:13 am ICT by admin  

Seoul March 2 (DPA) North Korea Sunday harshly criticized annual joint military exercise by the US and South Korean militaries. “All facts clearly prove once again that the US does not have any idea of dropping its hostile policy toward the DPRK (North Korea) at all,” a statement by the military said.

North Korea would counter the manoeuvres “with retaliatory strikes by mobilizing all means long built up by the DPRK at a high price,” a spokesman for the People’s Army said in the Panmunjom truce village that straddles the border between North and South Korea.

The manoeuvres posed a serious obstacle to settling the dispute over North Korea’s controversial nuclear programme with the US, North Korea’s official news agency KCNA reported.

The six-nation talks involving North and South Korea, the US, China, Russia and Japan have faltered over North Korea’s failure to meet the agreed deadline to disclose full details of its nuclear programmes.

The troop manoeuvres are a combination of Key Resolve - a command post exercise - and Foal Eagle - a counter-infiltration exercise. The military drills began Sunday and are to last until Friday.

Around 18,000 US soldiers are taking part including 6,000 flown in from other countries, Yonhap news agency reported quoting army sources. The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier is also being used. Some 28,000 US soldiers are stationed in South Korea.

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