The Korea Herald

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N. Korea claims S. Korea violated key inter-Korean agreements

By Yonhap

Published : Nov. 27, 2023 - 09:44

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This file photo on Sept. 25, shows South Korea and the United States holding a joint naval exercise in the East Sea in a bid to boost their combined defense posture and interoperability. (Yonhap) This file photo on Sept. 25, shows South Korea and the United States holding a joint naval exercise in the East Sea in a bid to boost their combined defense posture and interoperability. (Yonhap)

North Korea claimed Monday that South Korea has breached a 2018 inter-Korean military accord and other key agreements between the two Koreas, condemning joint military drills between Seoul and Washington as a provocative act that violates the military accord.

The condemnation came as North Korea vowed last week to resume all military measures halted under the 2018 deal and deploy new weapons to the border in response to Seoul's partial suspension of the military tension reduction accord over the North's launch of a military spy satellite.

The Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, said Monday that South Korea has been clinging to a scheme to provoke war against North Korea in collaboration with the United States and Japan.

Since the two Koreas adopted inter-Korean summit agreements signed in April and September 2018 and the military accord, South Korea "has violently breached the inter-Korean agreements and constantly trampled peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," the paper said.

North Korea said Seoul and Washington conducted around 250 rounds of joint military drills last year alone to prepare for preemptive attacks on Pyongyang and staged such a "war of aggression" about 600 times over the past four years. The North has long denounced the Seoul-Washington military exercises as rehearsals for an invasion.

"Such a fuss of playing with fire is the manifestation of an extremely provocative and dangerous hostile act that points to the violation of the North-South military agreement," the newspaper said.

The 2018 military accord calls for setting up buffer zones and no-fly zones near the inter-Korean border in a bid to prevent accidental clashes between the two Koreas.

Under the deal, the two sides agreed to cease live-fire artillery drills and field training along the border. But the agreement does not include a clause that bans joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.

South Korea and the US have expanded joint military exercises as North Korea has ramped up its weapons tests, including of solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles.

North Korea launched a military spy satellite Tuesday night after two previous failed attempts in May and August, respectively, and vowed to launch several more satellites within a short span of time. (Yonhap)