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Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Pentagon suspends August military drills with South Korea

Pentagon suspends August military drills with South Korea

"We can also build a gas pipeline via North Korea, so that not only South Korea will receive Russian gas but we will also be able to deliver it to Japan", the South Korean president said.

Speaking to reporters in Singapore, Trump said that pausing the drills would save the United States "a tremendous amount of money" and described them as "very provocative" - echoing North Korea's criticism that the exercises are a rehearsal for a US-led invasion.

But senior Japanese government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were concerned the suspension of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise could weaken deterrence provided by the United States.

The Pentagon announced Monday the suspension of a major military exercise planned with South Korea for August, adhering to President Donald Trump's vow last week to cease the readiness drills.

Dual Suspension China has welcomed the warming of ties between the United States and North Korea, and offered to help.

The unification ministry said Tuesday it had endorsed the request from the group devoted to commemorating the first-ever inter-Korean summit June 15, 2000. Other major combined drills include Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises.

It's not the first time that the USA and South Korea have halted military drills in an attempt to ease tensions with North Korea and persuade it to give up its nuclear weapons.

His statement appeared to catch both South Korea and the Pentagon by surprise, but they presented a united front in cancelling the upcoming exercise.

They will also hold a friendly basketball match - proposed by Kim, a fan of the sport, at his summit with Moon - in Pyongyang on July 4 and another in Seoul in the autumn.

There was no immediate reaction from North Korea. "I think what is left now is how completely and swiftly we implement such a wonderful agreement", he said.

South Korean military authorities are reportedly considering carrying out their own training in an effort to calm security fears.

"South Korea and the USA made the decision as we believe this will contribute to maintaining such momentum", defense ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said, as reported by The Associated Press.

Experts assess that any steps made to wither the US-South Korean alliance could precipitate the decline of the US as a power in Asia, and then the world.

No decision has been made on other US-South Korea drills, it added. The Koreas formed their first joint Olympic team in women's hockey and their athletes paraded together in the opening ceremony for the first time in 11 years.

Speaking at a news conference in Seoul, Kang Kyung-wha said the ROK expects to "see concrete action by North Korea to live up to its complete denuclearization commitment in return for guarantees of its security".

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