January 19, 2015 12:30
North Korea continued to press South Korea to hold talks on the condition that the South stop joint military drills with the U.S.
The state-run Rodong Sinmun daily on Sunday said if the South Korean government "truly wants North-South talks and improved ties, it should demonstrate its sincerity by taking action to stop all the war rehearsals" against North Korea.
The U.S. and South Korea are set to hold massive annual joint exercises in early March.
North Korea has long denounced joint military drills between the two allies as preparations for an invasion. The paper recalled that Seoul and Washington stopped the smaller-scale Team Spirit joint military drills back in the 1990s at the North's request.
Meanwhile Hyon Hak-bong, North Korea's ambassador to the U.K., told AP Television News on Friday the North is "ready" to halt its nuclear tests if the U.S. halts the joint military drills.
Hyon said the U.S. is making up excuses by rejecting the North's offer, which Washington deemed a "veiled threat."
And the North’s Uriminzokkiri Twitter feed on Sunday said South Korea must end its economic sanctions against North Korea if reunions of families separated by the Korean War are to resume.
South Korea halted all trade with North Korea after the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in 2010.
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