World / Asia-Pacific

DPRK denounces US-ROK joint military drills

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-02 16:37

PYONGYANG - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Monday denounced the ongoing joint annual military drills between the Republic of Korea and the United States, calling the exercises "intolerable moves of aggression".

Apparently in response to the drills, the DPRK fired two short-range missiles into its eastern waters Monday morning, when the ROK and the United States kicked off the joint war games code-named "Key Resolve" and "Foal Eagle".

"By putting sustained military pressure on the DPRK, the United States seeks to prevent it from concentrating on economic construction and the improvement of the people's living standard," a foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying in a statement.

The spokesman called the United States the "chief culprit" for escalating tension and disturbing peace on the Korean Peninsula and accused Washington of "challenging the sincere proposals and efforts" of Pyongyang.

The statement also criticized the United States for impeding improvement of the inter-Korean relations by conducting such combined war games.

In early January, Pyongyang offered to "temporarily suspend" its nuclear tests if the United States agrees to temporarily halt joint military exercises with South Korea this year. But the proposal was flatly rejected by the two countries.

Meanwhile, an unnamed spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army of the DPRK issued a statement on the same day warning of "toughest measures" to retaliate against the military exercises, saying the DPRK's armed forces are "fully ready" to strike their designated targets.

The "Key Resolve" command post exercise will be held from March 2 to March 13, with the mobilization of about 10,000 South Korean troops and 8,600 US forces, including 6,750 American soldiers from overseas, according to the Combined Forces Command.

The "Foal Eagle" field training exercise runs from Monday to April 24, with the involvement of about 200,000 South Korean troops and 3,700 American soldiers, including 3,500 US forces from overseas.

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