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North says US-S. Korea drills ’throw wet blanket’ on talks

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says planned U.S.-South Korean military drills would amount to “throwing a wet blanket over the spark” of nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington.

Since the start of the nuclear talks last year, the U.S. and South Korea have cancelled or scaled back their regular military drills to create space for diplomacy. But North Korea still sees the drills’ intent as an invasion rehearsal.

North Korean official Kwon Jong Gun on Thursday accused the U.S. of trying to resume joint aerial drills with South Korea next month.

Kwon says Pyongyang “will never remain an onlooker” to “the reckless military moves.”

Kwon refers to the annual Vigilant Ace drills, which Washington and Seoul suspended last year.

Seoul says the allies will conduct adjusted forms of drills but didn’t elaborate.

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