North Korea: US’ ‘Provocative’ Air Exercises Put Nuclear Talks on ‘Verge of Extinction’

In a recent statement, a Pyongyang official slammed Washington’s upcoming joint air exercises with Seoul, labeling them a “wet blanket” on the dialogue sparked between the US and North Korea.

Just days after the Pentagon announced the US would be holding limited air drills with South Korea in the coming weeks in lieu of their annual Vigilant Ace exercises, North Korea’s Kwon Jong Gun, roving ambassador for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Foreign Ministry, asserted the US’ decision “amounts to a declaration of confrontation.”

“The US reckless military frenzy is an extremely provocative and dangerous act of throwing a wet blanket over the spark of the DPRK-US dialogue on the verge of extinction,” the diplomat said on Thursday, as reported by KCNA Watch. “No one will believe that the changed war exercises will also change their aggression nature.”

The Vigilant Ace exercises were canceled last year shortly after US President Donald Trump canceled two additional joint drills with South Korea and claimed “war games” were “very expensive” and hindered negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Then-US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis expressed similar sentiments when he announced the 2019 Foal Eagle Exercises would be scaled back “to keep it at a level that will not be harmful to diplomacy.”

Washington and Seoul’s 2017 Vigilant Ace drills brought more than 230 aircraft to the region and, according to the Pentagon,…

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