PYONGYANG, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) demanded Monday that U.S. troops be pulled out from South Korea, saying U.S. military presence in South Korea is a pretext for “ceaseless north-targeted saber-rattling.”
“Behind the Korean War and all armed conflicts and skirmishes that broke out on the Korean Peninsula for the past 70 years was the U.S. that has deployed huge forces in South Korea to stage provocative actions,” a DPRK’s foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying in a statement by the state-run KCNA news agency.
The statement said the U.S.-S. Korea joint drills now “have become a main factor of aggravating confrontation and distrust” not only between the DPRK and the United States but between the two Koreas.
The statement accused the United States, prompted by its “Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” strategy, of periodically making provocative military actions to amp up tensions on the peninsula.
“Withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea has become a requirement of the times, which brooks no further delay,” it stressed.
The agreement between the north and south concluded on Aug. 25 after 43 hours of talks to defuse escalating conflicts has demonstrated the Korean nation by itself is capable of overcoming the crisis and protecting peace, making U.S. claim that its military presence in South Korea ensures stability on the peninsula no longer workable, it said.
Each year South Korea and the United States conduct a number of joint military drills, including “Key Resolve”,”Foal Eagle” and “Ulchi Freedom Guardian”, which they claim to be of defensive nature. But Pyongyang says the annual war games aim for northward invasion.