"South Korean authorities run against the reconciliation process on the Korean Peninsula and such perfidy greatly disappoints us… Wind naturally brings waves. Since the South Korean authorities together with the United States became overt in their military provocations against our republic, there will be a corresponding response from our military," the committee's statement said.
The two-week exercise started on Monday, and are a scaled-back version of the Max Thunder drills. Australian forces will also being taking part in the drills.
Pyongyang believes that the ongoing drills violate the military agreement reached during the third summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in September. Specifically, the agreement stipulated that Seoul and Pyongyang would create a military commission to enhance mutual trust and establish a zone in the border regions of the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan that would be free of military drills.
Previously, commenting on the military exercises acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and South Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong Doo noted that the drills were scaled down as a part of a bid to "reduce tension and support our diplomatic efforts to achieve complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in a final, fully verified manner."
At the same time, US President Donald Trump explained on Twitter that he wanted to end the drills in order to "save hundreds of millions of dollars for the US for which we are not reimbursed."
The reason I do not want military drills with South Korea is to save hundreds of millions of dollars for the U.S. for which we are not reimbursed. That was my position long before I became President. Also, reducing tensions with North Korea at this time is a good thing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2019