North Korea on Friday lashed out at the joint exercises
scheduled for next spring between the United States and South
Korea, saying such action will lead to serious consequences in
resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.
"This (military exercise) is an outright challenge and an
intolerable provocative act of pushing the situation to the phase
of confrontation and war," said a spokesman of the official
Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland,
responding to questions raised by the Korean Central News Agency
The spokesman also demanded that the US "unconditionally" cancel
the exercise, warning that "such reckless war moves would only
becloud the prospect of solving the nuclear issue on the Korean
Peninsula and entail serious consequences."
"The reality goes to clearly prove that the US loudmouthed peace
and end to the war are nothing but sophism intended to deceive
North Korea," he added.
The spokesman said that North Korea would take the
news of joint exercises seriously as it comes before the six-party
talks due to resume next Monday.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman announced on Monday that
the six-party talks aimed at seeking a solution to the Korean
Peninsula nuclear issue would be resumed in Beijing on December
The top commander of the US forces stationed in South Korea said
on Wednesday that the two countries would stage their largest-ever
joint military exercises next spring.
The week-long exercise, dubbed Foal Eagle and the RSOI
(Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration), is one of
about a dozen joint exercises held by the two allies annually.
The US and South Korea have conducted Foal Eagle since 1964 and
the RSOI since 1994, and the two exercises have been held
simultaneously since 2002.
(Xinhua News Agency December 16, 2006)