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N/Korea says U.S. military exercise would affect nuclear talks



A planned joint military exercise by the U.S. and South Korea could have potential consequences for talks between the U.S. and North Korea, the Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang said on Tuesday.

Should the manoeuvre take place, “it will affect the talks,” the ministry said, according to state media reports.

Pyongyang will observe the next steps of the U.S. before making a decision on the talks, it said.

In June, U.S. President Donald Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea when he met North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, in the border village of Panmunjom.

The pair shook hands over the concrete slab marking the line between North Korea and South Korea.

The symbolic moment, which Trump called a “great honour,” came amid hopes that stalled talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programmes and sanctions could be reinvigorated by the self-proclaimed “great friendship” between the two leaders.

The military exercise cited by North Korea is called 19-2 Dong Maeng and is planned for August, according to South Korean media reports.

In the past, the communist leadership in Pyongyang has often accused the U.S. of preparing an attack through joint military exercises with its ally South Korea.