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North says US-S. Korea drills ‘throw wet blanket’ on talks

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North Korea on Nov 6 slammed Washington for plans to conduct a joint military exercise with Seoul next month

But North Korea still sees the drills' intent as an invasion rehearsal and often has reacted to the exercises strongly, especially when talks are stalled.

They later told investigators they wanted to resettle in South Korea, but South Korean authorities determined they only wanted to avoid North Korean arrest and on Tuesday informed North Korea of their planned deportation, the ministry said.

North Korean fishing boats have occasionally drifted into South Korean waters, and South Korea has usually accepted those who chose to resettle and repatriated others who wished to return home.

Their boat with 19 crew members on board set sail off North Korea's port of Kimchaek in August to catch squid fish off Russian Federation.

Kwon was a part of the North Korean delegation on the current working-level nuclear talks with the USA in Sweden, when Pyongyang walked away blaming Washington's lack of "new and creative" options.

They were also quoted as saying that all the bodies were dumped overboard.

"We also assessed that if they were accepted into our society, they would pose danger to our people's lives and safety as vicious criminals who can not be recognized as refugees under worldwide law".

In late October, the three men returned to port in North Korea to sell the squid they'd caught. but when one of them was arrested, . the other two made a decision to flee.

After being spotted by the South Korean navy, they attempted to abscond for two days despite warning shots from a South Korean navy vessel before being captured. In addition, the agency praised the South Korean government for its fiscal and monetary policies although it mentioned the possibility of government support for non-financial public enterprises and large household debts as negative factors on the fiscal and monetary sides, respectively. One was arrested by police back at Kimchaek Port, while the other two mutineers escaped back to sea. The men may be executed in North Korea as punishment, the AP noted.

But the investigation concluded that the men had killed 16 fishermen in their boat and then fled to South Korea, the Seoul Unification Ministry said.

They initially meant to return to North Korea and seek shelter. It said this is an "intention to openly hold war exercise" against North Korea.

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