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S. Korea closely monitoring NK amid report over possible assault drill

File photo (Yonhap)
File photo (Yonhap)

South Korea is closely monitoring North Korea in coordination with the United States, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Thursday, after a media report that the North is building a replica of the South's presidential office for a possible assault drill.

On Wednesday, local cable network Channel A reported that the North is building a mini replica of what appears to be the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae or the defense ministry on a desert island near Kilju, North Hamgyong Province.

"We are closely watching (the North's activities) under close South Korea-US coordination," JCS spokesperson Col. Kim Jun-rak said during a regular press briefing, declining to give further details.

In December 2016, North Korea actually conducted a drill to destroy a replica of Cheong Wa Dae under leader Kim Jong-un's guidance.

The report came shortly after President Moon Jae-in expressed hopes that US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim meet each other again ahead of the November US presidential election.

A presidential official said Moon's idea has been already conveyed to the White House.

Inter-Korean relations have turned markedly chilly in recent months, with the North blowing up their joint liaison office in its border town of Kaesong in anger over anti-Pyongyang leaflets.

North Korea had threatened to take a series of military actions against the South but has suspended the plan following Kim's order last week. (Yonhap)