A day after US military stated that it will postpone its joint military with South Korea in a bid to bring North Korea back into starting stalled peace talks, Pyongnam on Tuesday, November 19 said that Pentagon must scrap the military drill completely in order to restart nuclear negotiations.
North Korean official Kim Yong Chol said while the US "tries to make a good impression" by promoting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, the recent decision to suspend the drills was a "concession." "But we demand that the US quit the drill or stop it once and for all," he was quoted as saying by Associated Press. "The US should not dream of the negotiations for denuclearization before dropping its hostile policy toward North Korea" he added.
The statement came in response to the statement issued by US on Monday in which its planned joint military drills with South Korea called the 'Combined Flying Training Event' or 'Vigilance Ace training' were postponed in order to give importance to the nuclear talks with North Korea. The US Defense Secretary Mark Esper described the postponement as an "act of goodwill" toward the North. The drills involve simulated air combat scenarios and include an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the participating countries.
Hours after Esper's statement, US President Donald Trump's tweet called for the North Korean Premier to "act quickly, get the deal done," adding "See you soon!". The North Korean Foreign Ministry advisor Kim Kye Gwan in response to the statement on Monday dismissed the US statement stating that no meeting with Trump will be arranged if the North doesn't get any substantial agreement in return.
Nuclear talks between US and North Korea have been stalled since the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February that failed to get both the countries to come to a mutual agreement.
North Korea has repeatedly displayed its stance against the military drills by conducting several missile tests. While the exercises have largely reduced to accommodate the North's demands, Pyongnam has consistently objected to them.