South Korea rejects North's warning over military drills
SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea on Thursday rejected North Korean warnings to call off scheduled joint military exercises with the United States and vowed "severe" retaliation to any provocation from Pyongyang.
North Korea had urged Seoul to cancel the annual large-scale drills, known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, warning of "calamities and disaster" if they went ahead as planned starting late February.
The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, a North Korean state body in charge of inter-Korean affairs, said on Wednesday that staging the exercises would drive the Korean peninsula "into catastrophe".
The joint South Korea-US drills are conducted every year and are routinely condemned by the North as rehearsals for invasion.