Published: Sun, March 04, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

North Korea threatens to 'counter' United States over military drills with the South

The Moon administration will begin serious consideration of candidates for the position and could announce a plan as early as this week.

"If the USA finally holds joint military exercises while keeping sanctions on the DPRK, the DPRK will counter the its own mode of counteraction and the US will be made to own all responsibilities for the ensuing consequences", the spokesperson said.

South Korean envoys have visited North Korea in the past, including Kim Man Bok, then director general of South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS), who traveled to Pyongyang with a personal letter from the president in August 2007 ahead of South-North talks in October that year.

North Korea has attacked Mr Trump's unilateral sanctions, but said it was open to talks with the U.S. when senior officials from the isolated state visited South Korea for the Winter Olympics earlier this month. Im Jong Seok, the chief presidential secretary to Moon, is also under consideration.

A spokesperson for the North's foreign ministry said a dialogue with the United States is "possible", but added that Pyongyang is open to talks only "on an equal footing" and will not give up its nuclear and missile programmes to come to the table. Why is the US the country that believes they have the authority to determine which countries may possess nuclear weapons? "We have never sat at a table with the USA on the premise of preconditions, and it will never happen in future".

"We are willing to resolve the issue peacefully and diplomatically through dialogue and negotiation, but we will never beg for talks nor will we avoid the military option that the USA rambles on about", a spokesman of the North's foreign ministry was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency, the state mouthpiece.

State media has also hit back at Washington, reiterating the North's long-held assertion that the USA used biological and chemical weapons against civilians during the Korean War.

North Korea has been under United Nations sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs and the Security Council has ratcheted up the measures in response to six nuclear weapons tests and several long-range missile launches.

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