S. Korea, US resume suspended joint marine drills

Aaron Brown
November 7, 2018

As you know, joint military exercises and exchange programs between the United States and South Korea have been frozen indefinitely in June of this year at the summit between Donald trump and Kim Jong-UN.

South Korea and the United States will resume battalion-level marine exercises that have been suspended as part of efforts to help facilitate a detente with North Korea, Seoul military officials said.

Military officials in Washington and Seoul are launching a wide-scale review of all future large-scale military drills between the two allies, with plans to lock in a finalized exercise schedule for the coming year, South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo told reporters at the Pentagon last Wednesday.

The decision to conduct them was made a few days after the threats by North Korea to resume nuclear program, in the case of continued worldwide pressure.

"I will be meeting this week in New York City with my counterpart, Kim Yong-chol", he said on Fox News, adding that it would be "a good opportunity to continue the denuclearisation discussions".

Pompeo added that he wants to see substantial steps towards denuclearization as they prepare for the summit.

"North Korean leader intends to prove that the DPRK will decide independently with whom his country to be friends and what global document was signed, noted, in particular, he said".

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"The U.S. thinks that its oft-repeated "sanctions and pressure" leads to 'denuclearization.' We can not help laughing at such a foolish idea", it said.

"The improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible", a foreign ministry official said in a statement released through state-run KCNA news agency.

The ministry described the lifting of US-led sanctions as corresponding action to the North's "proactive and goodwill measures", apparently referring to its unilateral suspension of nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and closure of a nuclear testing ground.

Pompeo said there would be "no economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective", the end of North Korea's nuclear program. That said, the U.S.is "very focused" on the goal of eliminating the nuclear threat posed by Pyongyang, Mr. Pompeo said. There have been no nuclear test.

The move coincides with a stiffening of North Korea's sanctions-related rhetoric in recent days.

Mount Kumgang, located at the southeastern edge of North Korea's Kangwon Province, was a linchpin of inter-Korean cooperation before a South Korean tourist was fatally shot there by a North Korean guard in July 2008.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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