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The World => World Daily News => Asia | Middle East => Topic started by: MIKELIGALIG.com on March 20, 2018, 04:05:11 PM

Title: United States and South Korea will resume joint military drills
Post by: MIKELIGALIG.com on March 20, 2018, 04:05:11 PM
SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea will resume joint military drills next month, Seoul and Washington said on Tuesday, exercises that will go ahead despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Seoul and Washington said in January they would delay the annual exercises until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics held in South Korea last month, helping to create conditions for a resumption of talks between South and North Korea.

The reclusive North routinely denounces the drills as preparation for war.

The Foal Eagle field exercise is scheduled to begin on April 1 and go on for a month, while the computer-simulated Key Resolve will be held for two weeks starting in mid-April, a South Korean military official told reporters in Seoul on Tuesday.

There has been a flurry of diplomatic activity across Asia, the United States and Europe since the North sent delegations to the Winter Olympics, moves that culminated in North Korea’s planned summits with the South and with the United States.

The South Korean and U.S. militaries usually stage the two drills in March for about two months but the period of this year’s field exercise was cut by half, mainly due to the Olympics, said the South Korean official, who asked not to be identified.

The exercises will be of a “scale similar to that of the previous years” and are meant “to improve our readiness against various North Korean threats”, the official said.

North Korea is pursuing nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions and has made no secret of its plans to develop a missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

Such plans, and the exchange of insults between Kim and Trump, had led to increased fears of confrontation on the Korean peninsula in recent months before the diplomatic contacts. China, North Korea’s main ally, says it is happy to see an easing of tensions.
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