July 17, 2019 13:16
North Korea on Tuesday threatened to boycott talks with the U.S. and break its moratorium on nuclear and missile tests over an upcoming joint South Korea-U.S. military drill.
The fresh crisis come just a few short weeks since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump met wreathed in smiles on the inter-Korean border.
In a statement, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman called the joint drill scheduled for next month a "war rehearsal" to seize the North and warned that it is a clear violation of the spirit of a joint statement issued at the first U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore last year.
The "Alliance 19-2" is a smaller drill led by South Korean troops that replaces the large-scale Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise scrapped last year.
In Singapore, Kim promised to halt nuclear and missile tests and Trump promised unprompted to scrap large-scale joint exercises with South Korea.
"Our justification to keep our promise with the U.S. is wearing thin as the U.S. has unilaterally broken its own promise," the North Korean spokesman warned.
The spokesman separately told the official [North] Korean Central News Agency, "If the military exercise is carried out, it would affect the [North Korea]-U.S. working-level talks" and added, "We'll make a decision... after watching what actions the U.S. will take."
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