North Korea on Thursday called for South Korea to suspend its military drills with the United States, claiming the drills are the fundamental cause of growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The North's call came after the two Koreas agreed Tuesday, at high-level talks on the reclusive country's participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics in the South, to hold military talks to reduce tensions.
"If the South Korean authorities really want detente and peace, they should first stop all the military acts they have waged with (the US) against their (northern) brethren," the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary.
|South Korean Marines and US counterparts wrestled topless in the freezing temperatures as part of a team building exercise. (AP)|
Armament and large-scale joint military exercises, designed to threaten and attack the North, are the main source of inter-Korean tensions and are driving the peninsula into an unpredictable and dangerous situation, the paper said.
"The two Koreas cannot remove mutual distrust and confrontation, and move toward unification, under persistent military tensions," the paper said.
The North is expected to strongly call for the suspension of South Korea-U.S. drills when the planned inter-Korean military talks open.
Earlier, Seoul and Washington agreed to postpone their joint exercises until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which are to be held in the South Korean alpine town of PyeongChang, from Feb. 9-25 and March 9-18, respectively. (Yonhap)