Meanwhile, Pyongyang and Seoul are preparing next week to start negotiations
WASHINGTON – the United States and South Korea decided to postpone joint military exercises until after the Olympic games in Pyeongchang, according to officials of both countries.
As explained in the South Korean administration, the decision was made during telephone talks between US President Donald trump and President moon Jae-In.
In a statement, the White house reported that the leaders “agreed to dissolve at the time of the Olympics and our teachings to US forces and the Republic of Korea could focus on the security of the Games.”
The Minister of defence of the USA James Mattis on Thursday tried to downplay the significance of the postponement, calling it a “matter of practicality”.
According to him, the exercises will take place after the end of the Paralympics, which will be held from 9 to 18 March.
Annual joint maneuvers “Foal Eagle” are usually held from February to April and are among the largest in the world. The exercises include land, air, naval and special operations and is designed to increase the readiness of troops to defend South Korea and the region.
North Korea has regularly opposed to the conduct of these exercises.
As reported in the White house, during a telephone conversation on Thursday, trump and moon Jae-In “have agreed to continue the campaign of maximum pressure on North Korea not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Earlier, trump had tweeted that his “tough” and “decisive” leadership was the impetus for the planned resumption of talks between North and South.
“While all of these useless “experts” Express their opinions, does anyone really think that North and South Korea would now be negotiations and dialogue, if I hadn’t acted firmly and decisively and would not be ready to unleash all of our power to the North? Fools! But the negotiations are good,” trump wrote.
On Wednesday, the DPRK and South Korea have restored a sealed 2016 hot line after North Korean leader Kim Jong-UN has offered to send the national team to the winter Olympics in South Korea.
But Mattis warned that it is unclear whether the recent actions of Kim Jong-UN a “real branch” or a single action.