United States suspends military drills with South Korea planned for August

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"South Korea and the United States have agreed to suspend all planning activities regarding the Freedom Guardian military drill scheduled for August", South Korea's defense ministry said in a statement.

The decision to halt military exercises in South Korea has bewildered many current and former US defense officials, who only learned about it when Trump made his remarks.

Last year's Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises went on for 11 days in August and involved some 17,500 USA and over 50,000 South Korean troops.

"No decisions on subsequent war games have been made", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said. The drills were held in April this year after a temporary delay to encourage North Korean participation in the South Korean Winter Olympics.

U.S. President Donald Trump is continuing his assault on the media by suggesting that its coverage of the North Korea summit would have been more favorable had his predecessor done it.

The U.S. and South Korea hold major joint exercises every spring and summer in South Korea.


The interview was jointly conducted by the state-run news agency Tass, broadcaster Russia-1 and the daily Rossiskaya Gazeta early Wednesday ahead of the first state visit by a South Korean president in 19 years and a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Eventually the skills are going to start degrading", Tharp said. "Holding back the "war games" during the negotiations was my request", he said. There are good faith measures. Even the term used in the summit declaration, "total denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", has been widely debated.

It will be Moon Jae-in's first visit to Russian Federation after his taking the presidential office in May 2017 and the first state visit by a South Korean president to Russian Federation since 1999. This is Kim's third trip to China this year, coming a week after he met Trump in Singapore for historic talks.

On his latest visit Kim is assumed to be persuading Xi of the need to lift sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council after its nuclear and long-range missile tests.

"Mr Pompeo shared with me his detailed plan going forward, but that of course requires consultation with the North Koreans ..."

Seoul will also use the two-way or three-way communication channels established after the inter-Korean and the DPRK-U.S. summit "to push the agenda forward", she added.


Kim and Trump agreed on complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in return for security guarantees for the DPRK.

Trump's rejection of the military drills also appeared to reflect North Korea's assertion that they are "provocative" - assertions the USA has for decades denied.

Following last Tuesday's Singapore summit, no public details have been released by any related governments or worldwide agencies on how, via what steps, using what personnel or according to what timelines denuclearization is to be achieved.

Last week, Trump also claimed that the threat of war with North Korea, and the possibility of a nuclear missile strike, was now over.

The two sides issued a joint statement after the meeting, promising to build new bilateral relations and work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".


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