Russia Criticizes S. Korea-U.S. Drills as Way of Pressuring N. Korea

A U.S. Patriot missile is seen at the Osan U.S. Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. The United States said Saturday it temporarily deployed an additional Patriot missile battery in South Korea in response to North Korea's nuclear test and a long-range rocket launch, ahead of talks next week to set up an even more sophisticated U.S. missile defense in a move that has worried China and Russia.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A U.S. Patriot missile is seen at the Osan U.S. Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Feb. 13. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it was opposed to South Korean-U.S. military exercises as a way of pressuring North Korea and  that North Korea’s reaction was also unacceptable.

South Korean and U.S. troops began large-scale military exercises on Monday in an annual test of their defenses against North Korea.

North Korea called the drills “nuclear war moves” and threatened to respond with an all-out offensive.

“The development of the situation on the Korean peninsula and around it is causing a growing concern,” the ministry said in a statement on its site, adding it was calling on the parties involved to show restraint.