South Korea says joint military exercises with US ‘purely defensive’

TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN - AUGUST 05: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - "UZBEKISTAN'S MINISTRY OF DEFENSE / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Soldiers take part in a joint military exercise of Uzbekistan and Russia at Tirmiz polygon on Uzbekistan's border with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan on August 05, 2021. Joint military training exercise between Russia and Uzbekistan started in the Tirmiz polygon on Uzbekistan's border with Afghanistan. ( UZBEKISTAN'S MINISTRY OF DEFENSE - Anadolu Agency )

Joint military exercise does not pose threat to any particular country, says South Korean Foreign Ministry

ANKARA (AA) – South Korea on Monday said its joint military exercises with the US are “purely defensive,” local media reported.

This came after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday that the upcoming military exercise between South Korea and the US is not “constructive” and called on Washington to avoid any action that would cause tension with the North.

“The South Korea-U.S. combined exercise is an annual exercise of a defensive nature, and it is an issue that South Korea and the United States decide at the alliance level,” Yonhap News Agency quoted a South Korean Foreign Ministry statement as saying.

On Aug. 1, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong warned that the joint military drill could damage the recent agreement of restoring all communication liaison lines.

She said that her government and army will closely follow whether the South Korean side stages hostile war exercises in August.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said: “We believe that most of the international community fully understands that the South Korea-U.S. combined exercises are an annually-held and defensive exercise and therefore, it does not pose a threat to any particular country, including North Korea.”

Last month, the two countries restored cross-border communication lines that were cut off by Pyongyang last June.

North Korea severed communication with South Korea and also blew up an inter-Korean liaison office along the border in June 2020.

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