South Korea says manoeuvres with the US should not damage relations with the DPRK

The exercise is due to take place in August

South Korea says manoeuvres with the US should not damage relations with the DPRK

The Republic of Korea and the United States should show maximum flexibility in deciding whether to hold joint military exercises scheduled for August. South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young said this, KVS TV reported Monday.

“The maneuvers should not lead to increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula, especially at a time when a new US policy on Pyongyang is completed and Seoul and Washington say they are ready for dialogue with the North,” Lee In-yong stressed. In addition, he said, the sides should consider factors such as the coronavirus pandemic and preparations to hand over operational control of their troops to South Korea in wartime when preparing for the exercise.

“Our government must implement the policy with maximum flexibility, and we hope that North Korea will also show flexibility on its part”, – the minister said.

Lee In-young also called on the global community to show flexibility in applying sanctions on the DPRK, indicating that they could be partially lifted if Pyongyang returns to the negotiating table.

Pyongyang has traditionally condemned joint military manoeuvres by both South Korea and the US, calling them a rehearsal for an invasion of the DPRK. Seoul and Washington have cancelled or scaled back a number of exercises in recent years, both because of the pandemic and as part of efforts to support a diplomatic process aimed at engaging Pyongyang in a peace dialogue.

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