Moon dismisses Abe’s call to resume US-S. Korea drills

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Seoul, Feb 10 (IANS) South Korean President Moon Jae-in dismissed a call by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to quickly resume the US-South Korea joint military exercises, an official said on Saturday.

The unnamed official of South Korea’s presidential Blue House was quoted as saying that Abe told Moon on Friday that it was not a right time to delay the annual joint military drills between South Korea and the US.

Abe said it would be important to conduct the US-South Korea joint war games, codenamed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, as scheduled, Xinhua news agency cited the Blue House official as saying.

The Japanese Prime Minister visited South Korea for the opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics at the country’s east county of PyeongChang.

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In response, Moon said it was a matter of South Korea’s sovereignty and its domestic affairs, noting it would not be appropriate for Abe to directly mention the issue.

Moon and US President Donald Trump agreed via a telephone conversation on January 4 to postpone the joint annual war games during the Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games set to run from February to March.

The South Korean President has been seeking to maintain a dialogue mood between the two Koreas by making the PyeongChang Winter Olympics “a peace Olympic”.

North Korea dispatched about 400 people, including 22 athletes, 140 artists and a cheering squad, to the South Korea-hosted winter sports event.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un invited Moon to visit Pyongyang. The invitation was delivered through his younger sister Kim Yo-jong who met Moon at the presidential palace.

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–IANS

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