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Pyongyang asks Seoul to abandon military drills with US

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Seoul, Jan 11 (IANS) North Korea asked the South on Thursday to abandon its military manoeuvers with the US, saying that these exercises are fuelling tension on the Korean Peninsula and increasing the risk of war.

"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 brethren," Efe quoted an article in the Workers’ Party of North Korea’s newspaper Rodong Sinmun as saying.

The manoeuvers were the main source of tension and were taking Korea into a dangerous phase in which the situation may be unpredictable, the news article said.

Pyongyang’s call was expected to be put back on the table when both countries resume military talks under the agreement reached at their historic meeting held on January 9.

The exact dates of the future talks were to be announced by Seoul later this week.

The call also came a few days after Seoul and Washington agreed to delay their annual military manoeuvers until after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in February, a decision which has led to this moment of rapprochement between the two Koreas.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also stressed in the article the need to alleviate the serious military tensions between North Korea and South Korea, and prepare a peaceful environment on the peninsula.

Military tension leads to a vicious circle of confrontation, according to the North Korean state newspaper.

It also added that diminishing the risks of war on the Korean peninsula was an important issue for the unification of people and the reunification of the country, which they have to carry out without intervention.

Rodong Sinmun concluded that the US is constantly aggravating the situation with the aim of achieving world supremacy.

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