US & South Korea To Scrap Military Drills To Encourage Denuclearization
The cancellation of the military drills is expected to come into effect in spring
Washington and Seoul have agreed to discontinue large-scale Foal Eagle and Key Resolve war games, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry.
The move comes several days following President Donald Trump's complaint about the cost of the drills.
The cancellation of the military drills is expected to come into effect in spring.
The news was announced by the South Korean military, as it made public the details of a call between acting US defense chief Patrick Shanahan and his South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, Yonhap reported.
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But According to a report from the Economic Times: In South Korea, a government official suggested the drills would be downgraded rather than scrapped entirely.
"If we define the size of the drills solely by the number of the soldiers, then yes, the exercises will likely be smaller," the official told AFP.
The two sides are still discussing the wording of a joint statement that is expected to be released in the coming days, the official added.
According to the BBC: Critics have said canceling the drills could undermine the US and South Korean military defenses against the North, but others say those concerns are unjustified.
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President Trump has previously complained of the cost of such exercises, although he has ruled out withdrawing US troops from the peninsula - currently numbering about 30,000.
Mr. Trump's second summit with Kim Jong-un in Vietnam this week ended abruptly without a deal.
President Trump said he had to "walk" because the North Koreans had demanded the full lifting of economic sanctions before denuclearisation.
But North Korea's foreign minister said Kim Jong-un had asked only for partial sanctions relief in exchange for disabling the main nuclear complex at Yongbyon.