Fast-thawing relations between North and South Korea have renewed enthusiasm for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, but North Korea may be using the momentum to request other concessions from Seoul.
North Korea propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri stated Friday the United States agreed to postpone military exercises until after the Winter Games, and credited the development to the Kim Jong Un regime.
“This [postponement] has been made so the United States could escape its difficult predicament, a country that can no longer ignore our leading efforts in improving North-South relations and securing peace on the Korean peninsula,” the North Korean statement read.
“Dialogue and war exercises are absolutely incompatible,” the outlet added. “The joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises destroy peace, brings all kinds of misfortunes to our [unitary] people.”
The statement called for a complete suspension of all military exercises with the United States.
Prior to the inter-Korea détente that began with Kim Jong Un’s New Year speech, North Korea had repeatedly called for an end to joint drills on the peninsula.
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SOURCE: UPI, Elizabeth Shim