United States and South Korea have called off their annual joint military drills in an attempt to secure cooperation on denuclearisation with North Korea. The decision has come after the second summit meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un in Vietnam
The United States and South Korea have decided to call off the joint military demonstrations as US continues to make efforts to ensure cooperation with North Korea. The large scale military drills, which take place in South Korea annually, have previously been observed as acts of provocation by North Korea.
Despite Washington’s attempts to ease tension with Pyongyang, the United States has ruled out the possibility of withdrawing US military forces, deployed in South Korea, amid a persistent threat of an invasion by the country’s nuclear neighbour. Further international pressure from Japan, highly cautious of North Korea’s intentions, makes the potential withdrawal of US troops from South Korea an unthinkable move.
After a telephonic conversation between US Defence Secretary, Patrick Shanahan and South Korean Defence Minister, Jeong Kyeong-doo, Pentagon released an official statement, marking the conclusion of Key Resolve and Foal Eagle series of military exercises in order to back US diplomatic efforts with North Korea. While Key Resolve is a computer-based 10-day military exercise that begins in March, Foal Eagle is the largest joint exercise conducted by the United States and South Korea.
According to the South Korean Defence Ministry, the joint drills would be replaced with “adjusted outside manoeuvre training and united command exercises to continue firm military readiness.”
The decision has come soon after the second nuclear summit meeting between US President, Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un on Thursday. The summit, held in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, resulted in no formal agreement between the two countries. Both sides have since confirmed the continuation of diplomatic talks with regards to North Korea’s denuclearisation.