US, S. Korea to suspend large-scale military exercises

US, S. Korea to suspend large-scale military exercises

Washington, March 2 (IANS) The US and South Korea will suspend two large-scale joint military exercises this year, American officials said, as part of President Donald Trumps efforts to maintain the truce he struck with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

A limited version of the training drills known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle however, are still expected to go forward, The New York Times quoted the officials as saying on Friday.

The decision to scale back the military exercises follows nuclear talks in Hanoi this week between Trump and Kim that ended without an agreement on how or whether to shut down North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

As the Trump administration continues to seek a resolution, a Defence Department official said the high-profile missile exercises that Pyongyang views as provocative will be toned down.

The official said the decision to formally suspend the large-scale drills was officially expected to be announced by the US and South Korea in the next few days.

It is the latest in a series of planned military exercises that Washington and Seoul have cancelled in the past year in order to avoid roiling Pyongyang.

Trump has also said that the war drills cost too much.

Last June, without consulting the Pentagon, the President suspended major military exercises with South Korea following his first summit with Kim in Singapore.

American and South Korean soldiers, airmen and sailors have continued to carry out joint training sessions.

In addition, the two sides have staged so-called tabletop or virtual exercises.

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