N.K. leader warns US, S. Korea ahead of military drills

TEHRAN, Jul. 30 (MNA) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has warned South Korea and the United States before their annual military exercise expected for mid-August.

In an apparent reference to the annual military exercise by the US and South Korea, Kim Jong-un accused "hostile forces" of intensifying "frantic and persistent war drills for aggression".

According to the Yonhap news agency, the North Korean leader made the comments on Friday as he presided over the first-ever workshop of military commanders and political officers this week.

South Korea and the United States are mulling over whether and how to conduct their annual military exercise expected for mid-August amid concern that it could negatively affect a conciliatory mood created in the wake of the North's restoration of inter-Korean communication lines this week.

The North has long bristled at such combined drills, branding them as a rehearsal for invasion.

However, Kim did not mention nuclear weapons or have any direct messages for Washington or Seoul.

Later in the day, a high-ranking South Korean official called for postponing next month's exercise with the US, stressing that now is the "right time" for Seoul and Washington to cooperate to bring the North back to the negotiating table.

KI/PR

News Code 176725

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