North and South Korea hold talks on Asian Games cooperation
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 20, 2018,
Jun 20, 2018, 21:44
The Pentagon said Operation Ulchi Freedom Guardian would not take place, while Washington and Pyongyang continue to discuss denuclearization following Trump's historic meeting with Kim in Singapore last Tuesday.
North and South Korean athletes will march under a unified flag for the second time this year during the Asian Games at the end of summer.
It means this year's exercise has been postponed indefinitely.
Tokyo also claims the islands, known as Takeshima in Japan, accusing Seoul of occupying them illegally.
The idea was proposed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un when he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in during the landmark April 27 summit.
"Once a peace regime is established on the Korean Peninsula, that is when an era of South-North economic cooperation will take off in earnest and I believe it must be a three-way cooperation that includes Russian Federation", he said. The Hill reports the USA and South Korea conduct three major exercises and some other smaller ones a year.
The Pentagon has consistently labeled the annual large-scale exercises as defensive in nature and crucial to maintaining the readiness of both American and South Korean troops to fight back any military aggression from North Korea.
At a Senate hearing on Thursday, Trump's nominee to be ambassador to South Korea, retired Admiral Harry Harris, backed the idea of a "pause" in major military exercises. -North Korean summit was held in Singapore.
South Korean military authorities are reportedly considering carrying out their own training in an effort to calm security fears. "And South Korea contributes, but not 100 percent, which is certainly a subject we have to talk to them about".
Certain aspects of the exercises and North Korea's responses have been especially sensitive.
Reacting to South Korea's maneuvers, Japan lodged a protest with Seoul's embassy in Tokyo, describing the planned drills as "extremely deplorable" and unacceptable, the NHK news broadcaster reported.
The two Koreas held talks on sports exchanges on Monday in the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone, but World Cup coverage in the North was not on the agenda, according to officials at South Korea's unification ministry.
Of the Japanese respondents, only 10.2 percent said they believe North Korea's nuclear issues will be resolved within a decade, slightly exceeding last year's figure of 7.4 percent.
But officials were sanguine on the announcement Tuesday, with Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera saying Trump's move would not affect US-Japan exercises.
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".