US, South Korea plan resumption of military drills
The U.S. and South Korea will resume joint military exercises next month, after delaying them for the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
The drills come as President Trump prepares to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later this year.
It’s unclear whether resumption of the U.S.-South Korea military exercises could complicate efforts to de-escalate tensions with North Korea, which has denounced the drills as preparations for war.
The Pentagon said the United Nations Command has notified North Korea’s military of the upcoming exercises.
The drills are expected to be “at a scale similar to that of the previous years,” the Pentagon added.
The military drills are expected to continue April 1 with an exercise called Foal Eagle. According to Reuters, that exercise will last for roughly a month, while the computer-simulated Key Resolve exercise will begin in mid-April and last for two weeks.
The U.S. and South Korea postponed the drills in the lead-up to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February. The Winter Games sparked a series of diplomatic overtures from North Korea that led to the isolated country’s participation in the Olympics.
Since then, the North has agreed to engage in talks with both South Korea and the U.S. If the meeting between Trump and Kim comes to fruition, it will be the first between a sitting U.S. president and a leader of North Korea.