U.S. to Japan: We’ll Resume Drills with SoKor

The United States has told Japan it may resume large-scale joint military exercises with South Korea as early as next spring, if there continues to be no tangible progress on the denuclearization of North Korea, Japanese government sources said Monday.

 

Japan, which has called on the international community to maintain pressure on Pyongyang, is supportive of the United States’ latest stance on the annual military drills that Trump indefinitely suspended following his first-ever summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in mid-June in Singapore.

 

The Trump administration has touched on the possibility of resuming the two major spring exercises with South Korea known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, the sources said.

 

Key Resolve, a computerized command post exercise, was usually conducted between February and March, and Foal Eagle, a field training exercise involving ground, air and naval forces, typically took place between March and April.

 

Within the Japanese government, many believe that North Korea will not completely abandon its nuclear ambitions if the United States does not exert strong pressure on Pyongyang.

 

During a press conference after the historic summit with Kim on June 12, Trump said he will suspend “war games” with South Korea as long as North Korea engages in denuclearization talks in a sincere manner as they are “tremendously expensive” and “provocative.”

 

North Korea has for a long time slammed joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korean forces as rehearsals for invasion, and regional tensions almost every year had escalated around spring.

 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned meeting with his North Korean counterpart in New York on Thursday was postponed at the last minute.

 

North Korea through its media has already lashed out at the U.S.-South Korean decision to resume the exercise, saying that it runs counter to recent efforts to lower tensions on the peninsula.

 

Reference: U.S. tells Japan it may resume military drills with South Korea next spring: sources

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