The U.S. Department of Defence 'indefinitely' suspended select military exercises with South Korea.
The U.S. Department of Defence ‘indefinitely’ suspended select military exercises with South Korea.
United States President Donald Trump after his successful summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said, the provocative exercises would be stopped while negotiations are under way.
On June 18, the United States and South Korean militaries suspended Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise (their joint military drill) that was scheduled to take place in August.
“To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in coordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises. This includes suspending FREEDOM GUARDIAN along with two Korean Marine Exchange Program training exercises scheduled to occur in the next three months,” Yonhap quoted Pentagon’s statement.
The decision came after a meeting was held between U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joe Dunford and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton.
“In support of upcoming diplomatic negotiations led by Secretary Pompeo, additional decisions will depend upon the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) continuing to have productive negotiations in good faith,” the statement added.
North Korea till date condemns the regular drills as an invasion rehearsal despite Seoul and Washington’s assurances that they are defensive in nature.
Mattis is scheduled to visit South Korea next week to further discuss the matter with his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo.
On June 12, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Trump had met for a maiden bilateral summit at Singapore in which they signed an agreement for a stable and peaceful Korean regime.
The two leaders also signed a post-summit joint declaration, according to which Kim committed for ‘complete denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula’ and Trump pledged ‘security guarantees’ to the North.