South Korea and the United States will resume their annual military drills on Monday. But Ri Ryong-nam, the North Korean ambassador to China, warns that the U.S. is threatening "Asia-Pacific" countries, adding that North Korea and China should work together.
For years, South Korea and the United States have staged military exercises, generally in the spring and summer, even though North Korea for decades has decried them as a rehearsal for war.
After some preliminary training started last week, North Korea did not respond to calls on the inter-Korean hotline, which used to be reactivated on July 28, but North Korea severed the connection years ago.
However, Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, did respond to the drills' resuming in a statement.
"The drills are unwelcome, self-destructive action that threaten the North Korean people and raise tensions on the Korean peninsula," she said, according to Express.
Additionally, Ri Ryong-nam said, "it’s not difficult to see that the U.S. will strengthen its military activities against the Asia-Pacific countries, including China."
"The U.S. is the common threat to North Korea and China, and the two countries should deal with it by strengthening their cooperation."
On a different note, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had issued a statement that did not relate to the context of either North Korea's Kim Yo Jong's or Ri Ryong-nam's statements. The JCS said, "the alliance made the decision after comprehensively considering the COVID-19 situation, joint defence posture and ways to support diplomatic efforts to denuclearize and foster lasting peace on the Korean peninsula."
Currently, the United States has about 28,000 troops in South Korea due to the Korean War.
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