As reported in the state newspaper “Minzhu Choson”, the South Korean military conducted military exercises to ” work out the invasion and hostage-taking”.
North Korea considers the joint military exercises of South Korea and the United States held in early November a serious violation of the Panmunjom and Pyongyang declarations on the settlement on the Korean Peninsula. This is stated in an article published on Wednesday in the newspaper “Minzhu Choson” (“Democratic Korea”), which is the official printing body of the Supreme people’s Assembly of the Republic.
“If we reach an agreement at the negotiating table, and then conduct military exercises to attack and damage our vis-a-vis, we will not be able to build a true system of peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the commentary stresses.
As the newspaper notes, the South Korean military conducted military exercises to” work out the invasion and hostage-taking”, and announced plans to purchase additional weapons for air defense abroad. “Such actions cannot be justified,” emphasizes “Mingzhu Choson”.
Seoul and Washington in early November, after a six-month break, held joint exercises of the Marine Corps at the battalion level of KMEP (the Korea Marine Exercise Program). The maneuvers were attended on both sides by about 500 soldiers, as well as assault infantry fighting vehicles. The purpose of the training, as it was announced, was to “maintain a joint defensive condition” and increase the level of interaction.
Initially, 18 rounds of such maneuvers were planned for 2018, but some of them were canceled amid the warming of relations between Seoul and Pyongyang, and therefore they took place only 11.
At the same time, Seoul expressed the hope that the North Korea would refrain from criticizing these exercises, since their scale is small. Earlier, South Korea and the United States canceled a major exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian, which was to be held in August, and air force maneuvers Vigilant Ace, scheduled for December.
By the Panmunjom and Pyongyang Declaration
In April 2018 in the boundary point held a historic meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae In and the Chairman of the state Council of the North Korea Kim Jong Yn. These negotiations were the first South-North summit in more than a decade. Following the talks, the two leaders signed a joint Panmunjom Declaration on peace, prosperity and unification of the two States. They confirmed that their common goal is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
In September, at the summit in Pyongyang, the leaders agreed on further steps towards rapprochement and signed a Declaration that provides for the reduction of military tension on the Korean Peninsula and the development of bilateral exchanges.