Sunday, 22 July, 2018

South Korean military exercises to begin April 1

Talks – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is expected to hold talks with Donald Trump More Talks – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is expected to hold talks with Donald Trump More
Ellis Copeland | 21 March, 2018, 08:43

South Korean and U.S.underwater construction teams prepare for a dive in Jinhae, South Korea, during exercise Foal Eagle, April 5, 2017.

On Tuesday, the defence ministry said they were expected to resume on 1 April and "at a scale similar to that of the previous years".

Earlier the all-weather allies US-North Korea used to conduct such exercises in late February which lasted for around two months. Negotiations are now underway for a two-month Korean summit next month to be followed by a meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

In a brief statement, the Pentagon said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, agreed to go forward with the maneuvers "at a scale similar to" that of previous years.

The two sides reiterated that North Korea should not consider the military drills a provocation.

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The US and South Korea usually begin Foal Eagle and Key Resolve in March.

Earlier, North Korea had called on to the United States and South Korea to suspend their frequent military deals for the sake of initiating a dialogue between the two Korean countries.

North Korea also said it was "committed" to giving up its nuclear weapons. Further, the Defence chiefs of both South Korea and the USA have agreed to hold the annual "key resolve" and "Foal Eagle" drills that had been earlier postponed due to the Olympic event.

This year's Foal Eagle field training exercises will involve about 11,500 United States forces and some 290,000 South Korean troops, said Logan, the Pentagon spokesman.

The drills, which Pyongyang has in previous years condemned as rehearsals for an invasion of the North, are set to take place amid thawing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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