Friday 20 September 2019, 05:49 AM
N.Korea says no to South's food aid over US military drill
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 7/24/2019 4:33:50 PM
N.Korea says no to South's food aid over US military drill

Seoul: North Korea has refused to accept food aid from South Korea unless it cancels a joint military drill with the US that is scheduled to be held in August, officials in Seoul said on Wednesday."North Korea's decision on food assistance was announced in a meeting with representatives of the World Food Programme (WFP)," a spokesperson of the Ministry of Unification told Efe news.

South Korea was intending to send through WFP 50,000 tonnes of rice to the North in September 2019 to address a lingering food shortage there due to bad harvests.However, the North Korean regime has not made any official announcement and South Korea is still trying to verify whether the decision was definitive.

South Korea and the US are set to carry out the joint Dong Maeng military drill in August 2019. North Korea believes such exercises are a "rehearsal for invasion".Although the allies have lowered the scale of their war games considerably following rapprochement efforts with North Korea, Pyongyang has been protesting against the drill.North Korea has warned the US that the upcoming joint military exercises with the South would affect nuclear talks.

Washington and Pyongyang had announced that they would resume working-level dialogue to come to a denuclearization agreement after an impromptu meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the inter-Korean border on June 30.The proposed working-level meetings were expected later in July. But as of now, no such interaction has taken place.

The process to denuclearize North Korea has been stalled since the Hanoi summit in February between Kim and Trump ended abruptly without any joint statement.There, Pyongyang had pushed for a gradual denuclearization accompanied by the progressive lifting of sanctions. But Washington maintained that it will only eliminate sanctions when North Korea ends and dismantles its nuclear programme, missiles and chemical and biological weapons.

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North Korea,cancels,military,scheduled,dismantles

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