Seoul, Jan 2 (IANS) South Korea and the US will continue to stage their joint military exercises in an adjusted manner to support efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday.
The allies have either cancelled or scaled back joint drills since 2018 to back diplomacy with North Korea, reports Yonhap News Agency.
“We’ve maintained our stance that combined exercises with the US shall be adjusted in close coordination between the two sides in order to support diplomatic efforts for the denuclearization,” Ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo told reporters at a briefing here.
Asked about any plan to resume their springtime exercise that had usually been staged in March, Choi said she has “nothing to comment on the issue as of now”, adding that details would be decided “in consideration of how things go”.
Last year, Seoul and Washington decided to end their large-scale springtime Key Resolve and Foal Eagle maneouvers, and instead staged a modified command post exercise called Dong Maeng.
But local media have reported that the two sides have been reviewing an option to resume a field training exercise around March this year to add pressure on North Korea.
Amid stalled negotiations with Washington on its nuclear weapons programme, Pyongyang hinted at the resumption of nuclear and long-range missile tests, while warning of “a new strategic weapon” and “a shocking actual action”.
The ountry has strongly denounced the joint drills, claiming that such a joint maneouver was nothing but a rehearsal for invasion into the North.