The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has warned that joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States will cloud the future of inter-Korean relations.
Kim Yo-jong said the drills scheduled for this month "will become an unpleasant prelude to seriously hurting the will of the leaders of the North and South seeking to take the step toward rebuilding trust again," according to a statement carried Sunday by the North's state-run news agency.
She noted that the drills will take place "at an important turning point," apparently referring to a recent easing of tensions between the two Koreas, following last week's restoration of their long-severed communications line.
Kim also said its premature to talk about a meeting of their leaders, and cautioned against reading too much into the reopening of the communication channel.
She added that the regime will "closely watch" whether South Korea goes ahead with the exercise, which North Korea claims are rehearsals for war.
South Korea's defense ministry said earlier it was working with the U.S. on logistics for the drills, including the exact dates when they would be held.
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