October 12, 2020 13:12
The U.S. and Japan will stage a massive joint drill code-named "Keen Sword" in waters near Japan from Oct. 26 to Nov. 5.
About 46,000 troops will participate, Voice of America reported last week. The South Korean military will only send an observer.
Since 2018, joint South Korea-U.S. exercises have been canceled or downscaled, but Washington and Tokyo have continued to strengthen military cooperation.
The U.S. is trying to drum up support for a new military alliance against China, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or "Quad," which also includes Australia and India, but South Korea has declined to join.
Meanwhile, some members of U.S. President Donald Trump's Republican Party said that President Moon Jae-in's recent proposal to declare an end to the Korean War is "premature" and could give Pyongyang an excuse to call for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea.
Republican Congressman Michael Waltz told VOA that he does not agree with Moon's insistence that a declaration of the end of the war will contribute to denuclearization of North Korea. He said the war, which formally ended with a ceasefire in 1953, can be declared over only once Pyongyang stops threatening its neighbors, including South Korea, and takes meaningful measures for denuclearization.
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