Pentagon plays down US-S.Korean drills after North suspends talks

The Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs in Sejong City

The statement released by North Korean state media KCNA said the ongoing Max Thunder military drill targets North Korea and as such "is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula".

Air Force B-52s continue to take part in military drills that the USA and South Korea conduct, contrary to a South Korean news report, a Pentagon spokesman said.

It is hosted by South Korea's Air Force Operations Command and the US Seventh Air Force.

Pyongyang's criticism of the United States and South Korea came as a surprise to the South Korean military.

Fellow guest Hyun Lee, a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea, noted that the USA has wasted no time in violating the Panmunjom Declaration by conducting the exercises.

Joint exercises between the United States and South Korea will move forward but the B-52 strategic bomber and eight F-22 Raptors will not be deployed during drills.

North Korea's Central News Agency critiqued the drills, saying they were a rehearsal for invasion, the Yonhap report said.

North Korea did not condemn Foal Eagle during the weeks leading up to the inter-Korea summit on April 27. "It appears that the B-52 may not attend the exercise, which runs through May 25".

North Korea also said it will no longer participate in the sit down with Seoul, which was scheduled for Wednesday.

North Korea is threatening to cancel its meeting with President Trump after canceling high level talks with South Korea.



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