Home » World

South Korea military drills to resume despite thaw with nuclear-armed North Korea

21 March, 2018, 08:05 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • The drills were delayed to avoid clashing with the Winter Olympics in the South

The commentary in the North's official news agency KCNA late on Tuesday (March 20) did not directly mention the summits but noted the "dramatic atmosphere for reconciliation" with the South and "a sign of change" with the US.

"It looks like he is concentrating on preparations for summits with South Korea and the United States, weighing Washington's intentions, Seoul's position as well as the general atmosphere among other things", said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University.

Despite the North's denunciation of past drills, Chung said Kim understood that the allies must continue their "routine" joint military exercises. But leader Kim Jong Un has expressed understanding of the drills this year to the South Koreans. Some have speculated that the manoeuvrs would be scaled back, but the Pentagon said they would be conducted at "the same scale, scope and duration" as in previous years. The North has often responded to the drills with its own military actions, and a year ago fired four ballistic missiles close to Japan.

North Korea's military had been notified of the "defensive nature" of the drills, the statement added.

South Korea also plans to reciprocate the visit of North Korea's taekwondo team as part of cultural exchanges between the two countries ahead of a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

No further details have emerged - and there has been no direct comment from North Korea yet - but if the talks go ahead, it would be the first time a sitting United States president has met a North Korean leader.

The Pentagon said in a short statement that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, had agreed to go forward with the exercises, known as Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, "at a scale similar to that of previous years".

Kim also noted the North's relatively quiet posture so far ahead of the drills, unlike in the past, when its army and state media issued a storm of angry denunciations before and during the exercises.

"I think all sides will try to spend the next few weeks as smoothly and quietly as possible". Washington and Seoul are essentially scaling down their drills, South Korean experts agree.

The all-girl singing quintet will be part of a troupe of South Korean pop stars who'll be performing in Pyongyang, the South Korean Unification Ministry announced Tuesday.

Recommended:



Popular

First day of spring? Winter Weather Advisory
The weather service is forecasting total accumulations of 5 to 8 inches of snow - with up to 11 inches possible in areas. The current forecast calls 4-6 inches across most of Northern Virginia, with 3-4 inches in Fredericksburg.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 Announced for the West
The localization has also been reworked, so it's "the most faithful representation of the original Japanese", according to Sega . All the in-game and cut-scene dialog has been re-recorded, with an emphasis on remaining "as true to the original as possible".

Australia, Southeast Asia to share intelligence to fight terror
The intention is to distinguish the infrastructure projects from those of China. Chheang Vannarith is Khmer Times' opinion editor.

McIlroy ends 18-month PGA win drought with Palmer title
Instead of throwing his cap to the turf, McIlroy, with the crowd going wild, lifted his arms and punched the air in jubilation. After Sunday's round, though, the Northern Irishman was right back in the conversation about who will win next month's U.S.

Students gather for prayer one month after deadly Florida shooting
She posted a powerful message on her Facebook account condemning the attacks and the policies and participating in the walkout. They lamented that too many young people have died and that they're exhausted of going to school afraid they will be killed.

United Kingdom teacher wins whopping $1 mln in Dubai Global Teacher prize ceremony
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was on hand to present the prize. These are the qualities that you share with your students every day.

Little Caesars is set to give free pizza next month
United States pizza franchise Little Caesars may be regretting a promotion it did for the NCAA's March Madness tournament . Specifically, it's a lunch combo that has four deep dish slices of pepperoni pizza and a 20 oz.

Security Council Press Statement on Kabul Process
As a follow up to Kabul process, I have extended an official invitation to Pakistani Prime Minister to visit Afghanistan. Health ministry spokesman Wahid Majrooh told AFP at least four people had been wounded.

Another shutout expected into gold-medal game with Canada against US
He previously delivered the host nation's first medal by taking bronze in the men's 15km cross-country skiing event. Speaking of dominance, out of 36 medals awarded in biathlon, Ukrainian athletes have won 11.

Robert Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization for documents, including some on Russian Federation
Mueller is investigating Russian attempts to influence the 2016 USA election, and potential collusion by Trump aides. He added that "our assistance and cooperation with the various investigations remains the same today".