What are the US-South Korea war games?

13 June, 2018, 18:30 | Author: Wade Massey
  • The US-South Korean exercise calendar hits a high point every year

Even before Singapore, everyone knew the DPRK would not "de-nuke" (Trump terminology) for nothing, especially when promised just some vague U.S. "guarantees". Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton will also meet with the North Koreans next week to work on the details.

The U.S. top diplomat is jetting to South Korea to brief the country's president as Asian allies try to parse the implications of the extraordinary nuclear summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

Ahead of the summit with Kim, speculation persisted that the two sides might discuss withdrawing the USA troops from the South, as Pyongyang has called for the pullout as a key signal to the end of Washington's "hostile" policy to it.

About 29,000 United States soldiers are based in the South, under a security agreement reached after the war ended in 1953. "South Korea military drills, but the American military presence in South Korea wouldn't mean much if the militaries don't practice through joint drills", Moon, a senior analyst for the Seoul-based Unification Strategic Center, told South Korean media. But at his post-summit news conference, the U.S. president described them as "very provocative". But the statement did not specify his North Korean counterpart by name, saying it would be a "relevant, high-level" official.

"A great shift in world history is in the making", one Internet user said in a comment response to a news story.

If Mattis was aware that Trump was going to announce a suspension of military exercises, he apparently did not share that information with the South Koreans or with the military organization most directly affected: U.S. Forces Korea. The North has traditionally railed against the joint exercises and charged that they are practice for an invasion.

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"[Pence] was very clear: regular readiness training and training exchanges will continue", Gardner said on Twitter. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has praised the "important progress" made at the Singapore summit to begin resolving the Korean peninsula's problems.

Now that the summit is over, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is busy working on implementing the summit's agenda.

A researcher with a government-funded think tank here said, "If there continues to be a difference of opinions over cost sharing, it's possible that demands for the USFK withdrawal or reduction will come from Seoul or Washington first, not Pyongyang".

Bishop said Australia had already offered its services with regards to denuclearisation "because we have expertise in that regard".

However, dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme will present a daunting challenge.

Trump has credited his "maximum pressure" campaign of crippling trade and economic sanctions for bringing Kim to the negotiating table and vowed to keep them in place until North Korea complies with its promises.

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