05/18/2020, 09.24
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Seoul postpones military exercises after criticism from Pyongyang

The exercises were to involve the army, navy and air force, with ballistic missiles, ships and fighter planes. Earlier this month, on the occasion of other exercises, the North threatened "a necessary response on our part".

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - South Korea has decided to postpone the maritime military exercises scheduled for this week. The official reason is adverse weather conditions, but many think that this is to avoid fresh criticisms from North Korea.

The army, air force and navy had scheduled their exercises tomorrow off the south-east coast of the country, in the Uljin area, where ballistic missiles, ships and fighter planes are deployed. Similar exercises are held twice a year and those due to take place tomorrow have been suspended.

A Ministry of Armed Forces spokesman, Choi Hyun-soo gave the reason as bad  "weather conditions". But many media outlets said the decision had to do with Northern reactions to the exercises held earlier this month.

On that occasion, the Ministry of the People’s Army of the North issued a statement in which the exercises were judged "a serious provocation" which required "a necessary respone on our part".

According to the local newspaper "Chosun Ilbo", after that statement, the office of President Moon Jae-in strongly criticized military leaders. Choi has asked the media not to spread "distorted" news, which causes "unnecessary security fears" and injures public confidence in the military.

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