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North Korea Says US-South Korean Military Exercises Could Harm Nuclear Deal


North Korea says a planned joint military exercise between U.S. and South Korean forces late this month could derail a deal to end Pyongyang's nuclear program.

North Korea's Central News Agency issued a statement Friday by the North Korean army saying that the U.S. will be held responsible for the "catastrophic impact" the joint military exercises will have on the implementation of the February 13 nuclear disarmament deal.

KCNA said the statement was handed to the U.S. military officials at a meeting of colonels from the North Korean military and U.S. forces in South Korea at the truce village of Panmumjom.

The military exercises are to be held from August 20 to the 31, and will coincide with a planned three-day inter-Korean summit beginning August 28 in Pyongyang.

The United States has about 30,000 troops stations in South Korea. North Korean routinely denounces the joint-military exercises, branding it as a prelude to an invasion.

South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia have been trying to persuade Pyongyang to end its nuclear program in exchange for diplomatic and financial incentives.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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