South Korea’s Defence Ministry said on Monday that no decision had been made yet over the joint annual military exercise with the US this year.
Ministry spokesman Boo Seung-chan told an online press briefing that nothing was finalised yet over how, when and on which scale the annual South Korea-US command post exercise would be conducted, saying it would be decided by the authorities of the two nations, reports Xinhua news agency.
The combined forces of South Korea and the US have annually staged the summertime command post drills around mid-August, which North Korea has denounced as a dress rehearsal for invasion.
Boo said Seoul and Washington were in close consultations over the issue taking into account the overall situations, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the combined defence posture, the transfer of the wartime operational control, and the support for diplomatic efforts to establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
In a statement on Sunday night, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said that the joint military drills were “an undesirable prelude which beclouds the way ahead” in Pyongyang-Seoul relations.
She noted that the restoration of the inter-Korean communication lines should not be taken as anything more than just the “physical reconnection”.
On July 27, the two Koreas restored their cross-border communication channels that had been severed for over a year.