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U.S. calls for DPRK restraint toward military drills

(Xinhua)

08:47, August 19, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Thursday urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to show restraint in the face of ongoing U.S.-South Korea military drills.

Calling the drills "defensive in nature," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland claimed that "There's nothing provocative, nothing unusual, nothing non-transparent about this exercise."

"We do it every year. Every year North Korea complains," she told reporters at a regular news briefing.

The U.S. and South Korea started on Tuesday their 10-day annual joint military exercise, which is expected to be joined by 530,000 troops from South Korea, the U.S. and seven "United Nations Command" sending nations. The drill, set to take place on the Korean peninsula as well as the U.S. military headquarters in the Pacific and the U.S. proper, drew fire from DPRK, which warned that the exercise will "hurt the atmosphere of dialogue and aggravate the situation of the region" and increase the danger of war in the Korean peninsula.

Nuland said the drills "are designed to enhance interoperability and the readiness of alliance forces to respond to any threat."

"So these are defensive in nature. And we urge North Korea to exercise its own restraint," she added.

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