(South Korean Navy-Yonhap)
A North Korean propaganda outlet on Wednesday slammed South Korea for its decision to participate in a US-led multinational maritime exercise slated to kick off next month amid global efforts against the coronavirus.
The biannual Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC), designed to enhance combined operational capabilities for maritime security, is set to be held from Aug. 17 to 31.
"This is clearly an invasive and provocative game of war intended to crush our republic and neighboring countries with force and to realize their ambition of dominating the Asia-Pacific region," Uriminzokkiri, one of the North's propaganda websites, said Wednesday.
The website in particular criticized Seoul for joining the August exercise amid worldwide efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, calling it "a war fanatic that jumps through hoops to follow any orders from the United States."
It claimed that Washington views Seoul as nothing more than "a target for exploitation for their own national interests," pointing out to the recent negotiations on troop reduction and sharing the cost of the upkeep of the 28,500-strong American troops in the South.
"The more the South Korean authorities clutch onto the anachronistic pro-US subservient policy and conspire with the US in its anti-North Korean policies and pursuit of hegemony, South Korea will face greater criticism and rejection from the world," the outlet said.
The North has toned down its criticism of the South on state media since it announced plans to suspend military action against Seoul last month, after blowing up the inter-Korean liaison office building in the North's border town of Kaesong. (Yonhap)