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Principale » United States troop reduction in exercise not due to North Korea concerns - Mattis

United States troop reduction in exercise not due to North Korea concerns - Mattis

28 Août 2017

"The joint exercise is the most explicit expression of hostility against us, and no one can guarantee that the exercise won't evolve into actual fighting", an editorial in the Rodong Sinmun, the North's official newspaper, said on Sunday, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported. We can not guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

North Korea's army has threatened retaliation against the United States for its decision to go ahead with annual joint military drills with South Korea. The allies have said the drills are defensive in nature.

There are concerns that North Korea could use the joint military drills to justify further military provocations.

A year ago the North tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile the day before the anniversary.

Unlike the spring joint drills, the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise that will run through August 31 is mainly a computerized command post exercise.

"By going into South Korea with these additional troops - it is 17,500 in total - the USA side is clearly provoking a situation, which only just very recently, as recently as of last week, was de-escalated", Adam Garrie, managing editor of told Press TV in an interview on Monday.

Ju accused Washington of attempting to "shift the blame for the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula to DPRK".

"It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia, and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

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China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, has urged the United States and South Korea to scrap the exercises.

"We think that South Korea and the United States holding joint drills is not beneficial to easing current tensions or efforts by all sides to promote talks", she told a daily news briefing.

There have been many signs of a lull in the crisis recently, including comments from North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump who had previously exchanged bellicose tit-for-tat rhetoric that many thought would portend military conflict between the two countries.

A confidential United Nations report, seen by Reuters on Monday, found North Korea evaded U.N. sanctions by "deliberately using indirect channels" to export banned commodities and had generated $270 million between October 2016 and May 2017.

"This proposal unfortunately creates a false equivalency between states that are engaging in legitimate exercises of self-defence who have done so for many years with a regime that has basically violated countless Security Council resolutions with regard to its proscribed nuclear and ballistic missile programmes", he told the gathering.

Here are 10 of the important steps highlighted by North Korea's state-owned media.

To the contrary, the number of American troops participating in this year's drills dropped to 17,500 from last year's 25,000.

Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said the allies should continue the war games until they "have reason not to". The latest sanctions were imposed after North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.

United States troop reduction in exercise not due to North Korea concerns - Mattis