Seoul has dismissed Pyongyang’s criticism over its latest annual joint Air Force exercise with the U.S.

During a regular media briefing Monday, Unification Ministry Spokesman Baik Tae-hyun emphasized the regular and defensive nature of the "Vigilant Ace" joint drill, which kicked off in the morning. He added that the government will not respond to every objection from the North.

North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland on Sunday called the drill a grave military provocation that will push the already volatile situation on the Korean Peninsula to a touch-and-go situation leading to a nuclear war.

Spokesman Baik was also asked whether the government is still willing to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable groups in the North, despite the regime's claim that it completed its nuclear force with the recent launch of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM).

He said the government will comprehensively review the circumstances, including related discussions with global organizations, and inform the public if it decides on providing assistance to the North.