(LEAD) N. Korea urges Britain to cancel military drill with S. Korea, U.S.
North Korea pressed Britain Friday to cancel its plan to conduct its first joint air operations drill next month with South Korea and the United States, condemning it as a hostile act.
"This is a never-to-be pardoned serious challenge to peace and security," an unidentified spokesman for the North's Foreign Ministry said in comments carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
Britain should "immediately withdraw its decision to take part in the military drills for aggression."
He also claimed that all the military means and equipment to be involved in the drills will be put within the sight of the North's military, though he did not elaborate on what he meant.
The comments came weeks after South Korea's Air Force announced that it will hold the 'Invincible Shield' drill with its counterparts from the U.S. and Britain from Nov. 4-10 to improve their capabilities to attack an enemy's major military and leadership facilities (if provoked), but also to intercept incoming aerial foes.
Britain plans to send four Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets, Voyager tanker aircraft and C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to the exercise, with F-15K and KF-16 fighters from South Korea and F-16 fighters from the U.S. taking part in the operations, according to South Korea's Air Force.
The drill comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's nuclear test in January and another one in September, along with a series of ballistic missile launches.
Source: Yonhap News Agency