03 March 2009

Coming on Ta'anit Esther

U.S. to go ahead with military drills in S. Korea
N. Korea warned that it would consider the drills preparation for an attack

SEOUL, South Korea - The U.S. military said Tuesday it will push ahead with plans to hold joint exercises with South Korea next week despite North Korea's warning that it would consider the drills preparation for an attack.

The North demanded during rare talks with the U.N. Command on Monday that the U.S. and South Korea call off the annual military exercise set to start March 9, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported. North Korean officials warned that the drill would "further stir up" tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the report said, citing an unnamed South Korean official.

On Tuesday, U.S. military spokesman Kim Yong-kyu said the annual joint exercises will go ahead planned.

The drills, set for March 9-20 in sites across South Korea, come amid concerns North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile capable of striking U.S. territory.