S.Korea, U.S. to suspend military drills scheduled for August

Frederick Owens
June 20, 2018

The U.S. government has made it clear that the suspension will only continue as long as the North Korean government is willing to engage in dialogue with it. The bad news? It can not be divulged - at least, for now.

Mr. Moon said South Korea would carefully consider joint military drills with the USA and he asked his officials to cooperate with the U.S. on the issue, his office said in a statement at the time.

Before heading to Panmunjom for talks in the morning, Jeon Choong-ryul, Secretary General of the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, emphasized the importance of sports as a stepping stone to expand inter-Korean exchanges and build peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Yes, a "detailed plan" exists.

The Singapore summit declaration was a broad vision statement but lacked any information on protocols, personnel, timelines and commitments.

Moreover, while US Secretary of State Pompeo has been named the chief negotiator of the denuclearization process from the US side, the North Korean side has yet to name his counterpart.

Pressed on whether he was surprised, he said, "Well, I wasn't surprised". Other major combined drills include Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises.

Addressing the summit declaration, which has been widely critiqued for its vagueness, Kang said: "Complete denuclearization is the goal. There are problems. the speed is slow, but it is on the right track", she said.

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Of the Japanese respondents, only 10.2 percent said they believe North Korea's nuclear issues will be resolved within a decade, slightly exceeding last year's figure of 7.4 percent.

Pyongyang may use the card of offering the destruction of a missile engine test site, which Kim promised at the June summit, in future negotiations. Other rewards that North Korea wants are an easing of global sanctions, establishment of diplomatic ties with the United States, and a reduction of USA troops in South Korea.

Some, especially in the West, have argued that United States President Donald Trump has effectively sidelined Russian Federation from the rapidly evolving Korean situation by his rapprochement with North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un, at the recent summit in Singapore.

The U.S. military has "suspended all planning" for a joint military exercise with South Korea that was scheduled for August, the Pentagon announced Monday. The annual UFG exercise is participated by government administrative agencies, major private mobilization entities, advanced army, naval, and air forces, Marine Corps, U.S. forces in S. Korea, war-supporting U.S. forces' capability.

Trump then claimed that suspending the drills would save the United States "a tremendous amount of money, before calling them 'provocative". "And, we are confident that we can achieve it with full support and concerted efforts from the worldwide community", she said. Some 700 kilometers of it would be on the territory of North Korea.

However, Kang was wary about the prospects of commercial engagement with North Korea.

Kang said she would not "prejudge or pre-announce" what concrete action toward denuclearization would precisely involve, however, as it is "very much up to North Korea". A follow-up match will take place in Seoul in the fall. Further talks are anticipated this week on reunions of divided families.

In a similar vein, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said the decision will have no impact on U.S military exercises with Japan.

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