(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
SEOUL - South Korean President Moon Jae-in has picked two senior security officials as special envoys to North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported Sunday, as upcoming joint military drills by US and South Korean troops drew condemnation from Pyongyang.
National Intelligence Service (NIS) chief Suh Hoon and National Security Office (NSO) head Chung Eui-yong will lead the visit as part of an effort to lower tensions on the Korean peninsula as well as possibly arrange talks between Pyongyang and Washington, according to a senior presidential aide cited by Yonhap.
That mission could be complicated by the planned drills, as a commentary published by North Korea's official KCNA news agency warned that North Korea would "counter the US" if the United States holds joint military exercises with South Korea.
South Korea and the United States will start in early April a joint military exercise postponed until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, a South Korean presidential security adviser said according to Yonhap.
North Korea reiterated on Saturday that it was willing to talk to the United States but said it would never sit with any precondition.
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman was quoted by KCNA as saying "we will neither beg for dialog nor evade the military option claimed by the US"