South Korea dismisses North Korea`s criticism

North Korea has called the use of its national flag in US-South Korean military drills a "grave provocative act" and an insult.

Seoul: South Korea on Monday dismissed North Korea`s criticism of last Friday`s joint military exercises with the United States.

"The military exercises have been held regularly and North Korea has nothing to mention about," South Korea`s Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung Seok said in a news briefing.

Kim was commenting on a North Korean statement issued on Sunday, in which the North said the United States "committed another grave provocative act of violating the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK”, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea.

The statement, issued by a Foreign Ministry spokesman and carried by the Korean Central News Agency, mentioned a major live-fire drill near South Korea`s border area with the North to mark the 62nd anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

The drill, the largest ever since the end of 1950-1953 Korean War, was held at a shooting range in Pocheon near the Demilitarised Zone between the two Koreas.

"On June 22, the US imperialist aggression troops in South Korea staged the largest-ever joint live firing drill in the area south of the Demilitarised Zone together with the Lee Myung Bak group of traitors and perpetrated such reckless act as firing at the DPRK flag," the statement said.

"It is an extremely grave military action and politically motivated provocation to fire live bullets and shells at the flag of a sovereign state without a declaration of war," it said. (Kyodo)


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