N. Korea demands cancellation of S. Korea-US drills, links it to Asian Games participation

CAPTION: A man watches a TV news program showing file footage of a North Korean rocket carried during a military parade at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, June 29, 2014. North Korea fired two short-range missiles into its eastern waters Sunday, a South Korean official said, an apparent test fire that comes just days after the country tested what it called new precision-guided missiles. The writing on the screen reads “North Korea fired 2 missiles presumed to be scuds.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korea has demanded that South Korea cancel annual military drills with the U.S. this summer to promote a reconciliation atmosphere ahead of the Asian Games.

North Korea has said it would take part in the games to be held in the South Korean city of Incheon from Sept. 19-Oct. 4.

The North’s powerful National Defence Commission said Monday that the South Korea-U.S. drills planned for August must be scrapped immediately because they are a preparation for an attack.

It didn’t say what it would do if the drills go ahead.

Seoul-based analyst, Lim Eul Chul, says Monday’s statement shows North Korea wants to use its Asian Games participation as a negotiating card to push Seoul to cancel the drills or conduct them in a low-key manner.

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