DPRK: U.S.-ROK joint military exercise violates joint agreements
CGTN

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Thursday blasted the joint military drills held by the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States, claiming it violates the agreements reached last year, Yonhap reported citing the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"It is a violent violation of the joint declarations and statements that the DPRK reached with the U.S. and the ROK," said KCNA.

"This also represents a frontal challenge to the aim and desires of all [Korean] people and the international community for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," it added.

ROK Marines march during a military exercise as a part of the annual U.S.-ROK joint military training called Foal Eagle in Pohang, the ROK, April 5, 2018. /VCG Photo

ROK Marines march during a military exercise as a part of the annual U.S.-ROK joint military training called Foal Eagle in Pohang, the ROK, April 5, 2018. /VCG Photo

The military exercise, known as Dong Maeng, was launched to replace the springtime "Key Resolve and Foal Eagle" joint military drills. It started on Monday and will last nine days until next Tuesday.

As U.S. and ROK officials said in a joint press release Sunday, the downgrading of military exercise aims to "keep alive dialogue" with the DPRK while maintaining "military readiness."

China: U.S.-DPRK nuclear issues should be solved 'step-by-step'

The Korean Peninsula issue cannot be solved in one day, China proposed a step-by-step suggestion, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Thursday, calling for political dialogue and negotiations between the U.S. and the DPRK.

"The crux is for both sides to address each other's reasonable concerns, accumulate mutual trust and achievements, and pave the way for solving the problem," added Lu, wishing the two countries can put the willingness of continuing dialogue into practice.

 Read more: China urges U.S. and DPRK to take a step-by-step approach on denuclearization

DPRK leader Kim Jong Un met with U.S President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27-28 to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The summit broke up without a deal, but both sides agreed to continue "productive talks to discuss denuclearization."

Wednesday, top nuclear envoys of the ROK, the U.S. and Japan met in Washington to discuss the next steps after the second summit between Washington and Pyongyang.

(Cover: ROK protesters participate in a rally against the U.S.-ROK joint military exercises, near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, the ROK, February 19, 2019. /VCG Photo)