The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Tuesday urged the United States to stop its large-scale joint military exercises with South Korea to create a favorable atmosphere for dialogue.
Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the DPRK, said in a commentary that the U.S. Department of Defense and the White House said the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises are "defensive" in nature and that the "annual" joint military drills would continue and their scale would not be reduced."
The U.S. maneuvers which have been conducted in South Korea every year are the root cause of disturbing the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula as they are staged under the simulated conditions of a preemptive attack and total war against the DPRK without exception," said the newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.
The commentary also said that when the DPRK and the United States are coming for "face-to-face dialogue with the will to solve the pending issues," it is unnecessary and improper to stage the joint military exercises.
"At present, the issue of the joint military exercises serves as a touchstone showing whether the United States wants peace or pursues war," it said.
"If the United States sincerely hopes for the talks, it should stop the acts of threatening its dialogue partner by force," it added.
The United States and South Korea have said they would hold their joint annual military exercises as scheduled, despite their ongoing dialogue with the DPRK.