June 18, 2018 12:44
South Korea and the U.S. have agreed to suspend the large-scale military drills while the U.S.-North Korea talks go on, an unnamed source said Sunday.
The two sides will cancel the Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills, which used to be held in August, but could immediately resume them if North Korea cancels talks or reneges on its denuclearization commitment, the source added.
The announcement is expected this week.
"Holding back the 'war games' during the negotiations was my request because they are VERY EXPENSIVE and set a bad light during a good faith negotiation," U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday. "Also, quite provocative. Can start up immediately if talks break down, which I hope will not happen!"
But smaller routine training will continue, according to the source.
The exercises will resume "if North stops negotiating in good faith," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on June 13.
The Wall Street Journal on Friday opined that the suspension of the joint exercises is a "political gift" for the Moon Jae-in administration, which has called for downsizing them to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
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