PYONGYANG, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday condemned an anticipated joint naval exercise between South Korea and the United States as extremely dangerous and reckless, the official KCNA news agency reported.
The maneuvers were designed to harass the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and escalate tensions in Northeast Asia, a spokesman for the DPRK's National Peace Committee was quoted as saying in a statement.
Terming the move as a serious military provocation to the DPRK, all Koreans and other peace-loving people of the world, the spokesman warned that the DPRK's army and people will never "remain an onlooker."
"Should the group of traitors finally stage the above-said maneuvers together with the U.S., the army and people of the DPRK will consider them as a grave infringement upon its dignity and sovereignty and strongly react to them," the statement said.
The South Korean defense ministry confirmed Thursday the joint naval drill, originally scheduled for last month, would take place later this month in waters off the country's east coast.
The exercise was mapped out in response to the March sinking of a South Korean navy vessel that killed 46 sailors. Seoul blamed the incident on a torpedo attack by a DPRK submarine, but Pyongyang has firmly denied the charge.
Meanwhile, South Korea also reportedly plans to hold several other military drills this year, including a two-day anti-proliferation drill in waters off the southern port city of Busan in October.