U.S. doesn't consider N. Korea's anger when conducting combined exercises: Pentagon
Updated: 2019-11-07 16:05:08 KST
The South Korea-U.S. joint air exercise will be carried out as planned, regardless of whether it angers North Korea.
That's the reaction from the U.S. after Pyeongyang's senior diplomat condemned the upcoming Seoul-Washington exercise.
To the Voice of America, the U.S. Defense Department spokesperson David Eastburn said (quote) "we don't scale or conduct our exercises based on North Korea's anger."
He added that the exercises are to ensure readiness and enhance interoperability between South Korea and the U.S.
But he also explained that the exercises allow the diplomats to have the space they need for open conversations with North Korea.
This comes after North Korea expressed its fury over a planned joint military drill between Seoul and Washington, calling it a declaration of confrontation.
Roving ambassador of the North's foreign ministry, Kwon Jong-gun, issued a statement on Wednesday.
He stressed that the combined air exercise that South Korea and the U.S. are planning to carry out in December violates the agreement set between North Korea and the U.S. at their first summit in Singapore last year.
Saying the exercises throw a wet blanket over the dialogue momentum, Pyeongyang warned that its patience is nearing its limit.
South Korea and the U.S. are to carry out a combined air exercise in December, which is much scaled down from their usual wintertime exercise, Vigilant Ace.
It's known that South Korea's air force and the U.S. air force will each train separately and then the combined forces will check their aerial readiness.
KIM Jae-hee, Arirang News.