South Korea's Ministry of Defense has confirmed that Seoul will resume its joint naval exercises with the US, despite North Korea's fierce opposition.

Iran Press/Asia: The South Korean Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the nature of the exercise was completely defensive.

According to United Press International (UPI), North Korea state media has denounced South Korea-US military exercises.

South Korean Defense Ministry added the joint exercises with US are not a violation of inter-Korea military agreements.

South Korea military spokeswoman, Choi Hyun-soo told reporters there are no plans to stop the drills, despite North Korean complaints.

"Battalion-level training has been conducted annually and it is for defense purposes," Choi said. "We intend to continue with them this year."

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South Korean Marines exit an amphibious assault vehicle during a landing operation in the southern city of Pohang, on Nov 5, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

South Korea defense ministry added there are no plans to stop the training, following the cancellation of Ulchi Freedom Guardian and Vigilant Ace exercises in 2018.

"It is illogical to give the pretext of 'regular training' for the restart of marine corps joint training, after suspending exercises for six months,"  North Korean newspaper, Rodong Sinmun stated. "The war exercises where U.S. Marine Corps from Japan are in participation, are a threat to the easing of tensions and peace. It is an anachronistic military move."

In the same issue of the Rodong Sinmun on Monday, North Korea condemned the "wicked sanctions of the hostile forces."

"A tremendous battle of creation is being waged at this moment without pause" despite the embargoes, including construction at Samjiyon County near Mount Paektu, the paper stated.

The Korea Marine Exercise Program involves about 500 troops from South Korea's Marine Corps and the US III Marine Expeditionary Force stationed in Okinawa, Japan. 210/103

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