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N Korea at crossroads

North Korea media slams US-South Korea joint military exercise

Drills violate last year's summit agreements, says KCNA

Amphibious assault vehicles of the South Korean Marine Corps during the annual joint military training between South Korea and the U.S. in Pohang, South Korea, on April 5.
Amphibious assault vehicles of the South Korean Marine Corps during the annual joint military training between South Korea and the U.S. in Pohang, South Korea, on April 5.   © Reuters

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- North Korean state media on Thursday decried a new U.S.-South Korea joint military exercise as a violation of summit agreements reached with Pyongyang last year.

The Korean Central News Agency said the exercise is "a wanton violation" of the deals U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae In respectively struck with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, "in which the removal of hostility and tensions were committed to."

KCNA also branded the drills "an open challenge to the aspiration and desire of all Koreans and the international community for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula."

The United States and South Korea launched a smaller-scale combined military exercise on Monday, reducing its scope in an effort to aid diplomacy toward North Korea's denuclearization.

The nine-day training through March 12, called "Dong Maeng" or "alliance," replaces the major springtime military exercises that North Korea has long viewed as preparations for an invasion.

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