21:49 GMT09 August 2020
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    Despite the promise to suspend annual military drills with South Korea in the wake of the 2018 Olympics, the US has been boosting forces near the Korean Peninsula since the beginning of the year.

    The North Korean envoy said that the US is bringing its strategic assets to and around the Korean peninsula "under the pretext of the security of the Olympic games," and urged the US to completely stop, not just temporarily suspend, its joint military exercises with South Korea "and all other nuclear war drills."

    "This is a dangerous act of throwing a wet blanket over the current positive atmosphere of inter-Korean relations," the envoy said.

    He added that North Korea’s decision to strengthen its nuclear force was "absolutely the right choice."

    READ MORE: US Air Force Sends DOS-Attacking Aircraft to Korean Peninsula

    Pyongyang has repeatedly voiced concern over numerous joint US-South Korean drills on the Korean Peninsula, calling them a "provocation."

    This year, the annual war games scheduled for February have been suspended at South Korea's request due to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. However, North Korea has previously called for their complete cancellation.

    Earlier this month, despite the promise, the US sent one new amphibious assault ship, an extra aircraft carrier and a slew of bombers to the Indo-Pacific region.

    READ MORE: Pyongyang Plans Military Parade on Eve of Olympics in S Korea — Reports

    In his New Year address, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un said that the nuclear button is constantly on his desk and that the US will not be able to start a war with his country. At the same time, he announced his desire to send a delegation to the Olympic Games in South Korea.

    In the wake of a breakthrough in the relationship between the Koreans, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that Pyongyang could "trigger an option" and initiate a military solution to the crisis in the region, if it decides not to settle the conflict via talks.

    Previously, President Donald Trump told his South Korean counterpart President Moon Jae-in that the United States would be willing to hold talks with North Korea "at the right time and under the right circumstances," with no further details provided.

    In the wake of an unprecedented escalation of the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea's repeated missile launches,as well as the US President's harsh rhetoric, Russia and China proposed a so-called "double freeze" plan, which stipulates that Pyongyang abate missile and nuclear tests in exchange for Washington halting the joint exercises.


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    Olympic Games, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States, South Korea
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