North Korea warns that US-South Korea military exercises will damage relations between the two countries

North Korea It warned on Sunday that the planned “hostile” US-South Korea military exercises later this month could seriously undermine recent efforts to improve relations between the two countries.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister and an important figure in the regime’s leadership, Kim Yo-jung, told the state-controlled news agency Korea Central News Agency that the planned exercise “will be an unpleasant prelude to severely hurt the will of the North Korean leader.” The North and South seek to take measures to rebuild trust and further cast a shadow over the path of South Korea-North Korea relations. “

Although negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea on the country’s secret nuclear program and ballistic missile program have been at a standstill since President Biden took office, Seoul and Pyongyang revealed last week that they had agreed to restore a long-inactive hotline with the aim of maximizing To reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. A heavily armed and divided peninsula.

It is also reported that Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has long supported contacts with North Korea, exchanged letters on possible ways to improve relations since the spring.

“Our government and military will pay close attention to whether South Korea will conduct another hostile war exercise or make a bold decision,” Ms. Kim added, according to a report. Report In Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. “Hope or despair? The decision is not in us.”

The annual US-South Korea military exercise has become a major political football during Trump’s administration. Former President Donald Trump suspended them when he used unprecedented personal diplomacy to reach an elusive personal denuclearization agreement with Mr. Kim.

Trump called these exercises provocative and costly, but US military leaders warned that lack of training may affect the preparations of the 28,000 US troops stationed in South Korea to defend against North Korean attacks.

North Korea It has long condemned the annual exercise, insisting that it was a rehearsal of a possible invasion of North Korea.

The Pentagon and South Korean military officials have been assessing how large the military exercises this year should be.

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