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South Korea scoffs at North call on insults, refuses to scrap US drills

Published on Jan 17, 2014 11:37 AM

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea on Friday scoffed at North Korea's proposal for a moratorium on verbal mud-slinging between the two rivals, and rejected Pyongyang's renewed calls to scrap joint military drills with the United States.

The annual joint exercises - which the North routinely condemns as provocative rehearsals for invasion - will go ahead as scheduled from the end of February, Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui Do told reporters.

"Our military exercises are routine annual defensive drills, like those conducted by all sovereign states," Mr Kim said.

Last year's exercises were held in the wake of North Korea's third and largest nuclear test, and prompted months of escalated military tensions that saw Pyongyang issue apocalyptic threats of nuclear war against the South and the United States.

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