US criticises North Korea’s offer on nuclear tests

Washington, Jan 11 (IANS) The US has criticised an offer by North Korea to suspend further nuclear tests temporarily if Washington agrees to temporarily halt joint military exercises with South Korea this year.

The DPRK statement “inappropriately” links routine US-South Korean exercises to the possibility of a nuclear test, US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki said and termed the proposal an “implicit threat”, Xinhua reported.
“We called on the DPRK (North Korea) to immediately cease all threats, reduce tensions, and take the necessary steps toward de-nuclearisation needed to resume credible negotiations,” said Psaki, who was travelling with Secretary of State John Kerry in Munich en route to India.
North Korea’s official news agency KCNA reported Saturday that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) government made a “crucial” proposal Friday to the US, demanding suspension of joint military drills to be conducted with South Korea for this year, which “contributes to easing tension on the Korean Peninsula.”
In response, Pyongyang would temporarily suspend its nuclear test.
Each year, South Korea and the US conduct a number of joint military drills including “Foal Eagle” and “Ulchi Freedom Guardian”.