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North Korean leader comments on talks with US

Kim Jong-un says Pyongyang has "nothing to talk about with enemies" following joint US-South Korean military drills

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) does not see any point in engaging in talks with the US and South Korea, the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, has said.

In a report released by North Korean state news agency KCNA on Monday, Kim is quoted as saying the "enemies have still been talking about dialogue and negotiations while posing military threats to us." He went on to state that Pyongyang has "nothing to talk about with our enemies, and we do not feel the need to do so."

According to KCNA, Kim stressed that a clear signal should be sent to the nations escalating the situation in the region.

Speaking during an inspection of the country's tactical nuclear operation units' drills held from September 25 to October 9, he noted that the DPRK will keep a close watch on the "unstable security situation on the Korean Peninsula and all military moves by the enemies."

Pyongyang will take "all military countermeasures, if necessary," Kim was reported as saying.

Commenting on the multiple launches of ballistic missiles by the North Korean military in recent weeks, the KCNA report said the decision to conduct them was made in late September in response to large-scale military exercises by the US and South Korea. The firing of the rockets, including one which flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean last Tuesday, is said to have been a test of Pyongyang's deterrence capabilities.

Kim warned that the "irresponsible aggravation of the situation by the U.S. and South Korean regimes" will elicit an even stronger response from North Korea.

He reiterated that the country's nuclear combat forces fulfill the role of defending the "dignity, sovereignty and right to survival of the DPRK."

In late September, the US, South Korea, and Japan began a joint anti-submarine drill in the Sea of Japan - the first such exercise since 2017. The maneuvers featured the USS Ronald Reagan nuclear-powered aircraft carrier along with three other warships. Representing Japan was an Asahi-class destroyer, while South Korea deployed the destroyer Menmu the Great.