August 10, 2019 / 10:08 PM / 15 days ago

North Korea says no inter-Korean talks unless South Korea, U.S. end military drills

FILE PHOTO - A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Picture

SEOUL (Reuters) - There will not be inter-Korean talks unless South Korea and the United States end joint military exercises that set North Korea as an “enemy,” a senior official at Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said on Sunday.

Kwon Jong Gun, director-general for American affairs at the ministry, said South Korea talked “nonsense” by urging the North to stop missile tests which served its right to self-defense.

“Given that the military exercise clearly puts us as an enemy in its concept,” Kwon said in a statement carried by state media KCNA.

“They should think that an inter-Korean contact itself will be difficult to be made unless they put an end to such a military exercise or before they make a plausible excuse or an explanation in a sincere manner.”

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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