South Korean President warns North Korea not to use S. Korea, U.S. joint drills as pretext for provocation
Updated: 2017-08-21 14:04:00 KST
South Korea, U.S. joint military exercises should not be taken by North Korea as a pretext for any future provocation.
That's President Moon Jae-in as the two allies kick off their annual drills designed to ensure readiness against any possible provocation by the North.
Our chief Blue House correspondent Moon Connyoung reports.
Full readiness against any possible provocation ordered South Korean President Moon Jae-in to his military as they launched their annual joint exercises with the U.S. on Monday.
President Moon stresses defensive nature of UFG exercises}Speaking to his Cabinet on the first day of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills the South's commander-in-chief also made clear the nature of the joint drills which North Korea has long denounced as a war rehearsal to invade Pyongyang.
"The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills are defensive exercises intended to ensure our defense readiness in protecting the lives and safety of our people.
North Korea must not distort our efforts to maintain peace and should not use the drills as a pretext for further provocation."
President Moon called out on the North's leadership saying it is, in fact, Pyongyang's continued provocations that make the Seoul, Washington joint drills necessary.
The liberal leader did, however, reaffirm that the door to dialogue for peaceful resolution remains wide open should the isolated regime choose to take that path.
"Not only will North Korea's courageous decision help ease military tensions in and around the Korean peninsula, it will ensure a stable and prosperous future for the regime."
President Moon convenes NSC meeting on 1st day of joint drills}The South Korean president also convened a meeting of his National Security Council earlier in the morning as Seoul and Washington forged ahead with the ten-day joint military exercises the first large-scale military exercise between the allies since North Korea successfully flight-tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.
Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, the Blue House."