Reuters
January 17, 2014

South Korea has one of the largest standing armies in the world, with over 3.5 million troops.
South Korea has one of the largest standing armies in the world, with over 3.5 million troops.

South Korea on Friday rejected a call from the reclusive North to halt “provocative” military drills with the United States, saying that as a democracy it did not launch pre-emptive strikes.

North Korea traditionally demands the South to call off the drills, scheduled for February and March this year, labelling them as a prelude to invasion, but this year it also suggested both sides take steps to ease tension, including a moratorium on mutual verbal attacks.

“The Key Resolve and the Foal Eagle exercises will go ahead as scheduled … (South Korea) is a democratic country so we do not engage in pre-emptive strikes,” South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said at a briefing.

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