US, South Korea planning new joint military exercises

US, South Korea planning new joint military exercises
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The United States and South Korea reportedly plan to announce new joint military exercises after the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, conclude.

“The exercise was postponed according to the spirit of the Olympics,” said South Korea Defense Minister Song Young-moo, Reuters reported.

“We have agreed to uphold the basis until after the Paralympics ... and not to confirm nor deny anything regarding what we would do after that until we announce it.”

The two countries previously delayed the exercises until after the Winter Olympics.

North Korea reportedly invited its southern neighbor to discussions in Pyongyang for the first time in more than 10 years, though Reuters said Song noted the talks were not the result of the delay.

Athletes from both countries marched together at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games, a move that followed heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula over the North’s nuclear ambitions.

Cho Myong-gyo, the unification minister for South Korea, said discussions to schedule the joint exercises will continue.

North Korea has described the joint drills as an act of aggression. 

“It is a provocative act of chilling the active efforts of the DPRK and enthusiasm of the international community to defuse tension and create a peaceful environment,” the Korean Central News Agency wrote in an editorial, according to Reuters.