Offbeat South Korea-U.S. War Games Will Take Place Quietly

00:01  05 june  2018
00:01  05 june  2018 Source:

South Korean president met N.Korea's Kim Jong Un Saturday-Seoul

  South Korean president met N.Korea's Kim Jong Un Saturday-Seoul South Korean President Moon Jae-in met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday to discuss Kim's possible upcoming summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, the South said, the second inter-Korean summit in as many months. Moon and Kim met just north of the heavily militarized border in the afternoon to exchange views to pave way for a summit between North Korea and the United States, South Korea's presidential office said.Moon will announce the outcome of his two-hour meeting with Kim on Sunday morning, officials aid.

US Air Force F-16 fighter jets take part in joint aerial drills called 'Vigilant Ace' between the U.S. and South Korea at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek on December 6, 2017. The U.S. and South Korea on December 4 kicked off their largest-ever joint air exercise, an operation North Korea has labeled an 'all-out provocation', days after Pyongyang fired its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile.: 886703732© Kim Hong-Ji/AFP/Getty Images 886703732 South Korea plans to continue holding joint war games with the United States as it does every year, but will stop publicizing the event in order to avoid riling its neighbor North Korea, officials said Monday.

“We will be conducting the U.S.-[South Korean] joint military exercises normally in line with annual plans,” ministry spokesman Lee Jin-woo told the press. “But we’ll refrain from promoting the contents of the joint drills or opening them to the public as best we can.”

The announcement was made as President Donald Trump prepares to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore to discuss the rogue regime’s nuclear weapons program. The meeting, scheduled to take place June 12, is of vital importance to South Korea, which lives under constant threat of attack from the north.

Former N.Korea spy chief heads to Washington for talks with U.S. officials -Yonhap

  Former N.Korea spy chief heads to Washington for talks with U.S. officials -Yonhap Former North Korea spy chief and senior official Kim Yong Chol is headed to Washington after stopping over in Beijing, presumably for talks with U.S. officials regarding a possible summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said on Tuesday. Kim Yong Chol has been closely involved with talks with South Korea as well and his visit to the United States would further indicate preparations for the historic summit are moving ahead.

South Korea has U.S. troops stationed on its territory, and the country holds annual military drills and training exercises with the U.S. in order to deter Pyongyang. But North Korea views the military drills as a threat, and the country has suggested it could call off negotiations over its nuclear weapons program if the exercises continue to take place. Pyongyang called this year’s Max Thunder exercises, which took place in mid-May, an “intentional military provocation,” and threatened to suspend talks it had scheduled with South Korea. On Sunday, North Korean officials said that the exercises are not in line with the spirit of the Panmunjom Declaration, a joint declaration North and South Korea leaders signed in April stating their intention to work towards peace on the peninsula.

Trump pick for South Korea ambassador: North Korea 'most imminent threat'

  Trump pick for South Korea ambassador: North Korea 'most imminent threat' The outgoing commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, who has been nominated by President Trump to be the next ambassador to South Korea, warned Wednesday that North Korea is the United States's most immediate threat."North Korea remains our most imminent threat," Adm. Harry Harris said Wednesday. "And a nuclear-capable North Korea with missiles that can reach the United States is unacceptable.

Nonetheless, both sides seem willing to reach a compromise, and experts said Monday’s announcement is a sign of that.

"Seoul seems to be falling in line to what seems to be a handshake agreement struck months ago where North Korea won't protest over military exercises as long as South Korea or America don't go out of their way to make a big splash with them,” Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C., told Newsweek.

“Considering the fact that Pyongyang drills its military all winter and in other formats throughout the year, the Kim regime should not be concerned at all. All militaries and military alliances drill and do exercises—that is how they ensure they can fight. That is not controversial, that is reality,” Kazianis continued. “However, if North Korea did want to torpedo the summit or cause trouble, this does give them an excuse to do it.”

N. Korea military 'all quiet' ahead of summit: Mattis

  N. Korea military 'all quiet' ahead of summit: Mattis The North Korean military shows no signs of unusual activity or being in a heightened state of readiness ahead of a historic summit in Singapore, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday. "All's quiet," Mattis told Pentagon reporters when asked his assessment of North Korean military activity. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is due to meet with President Donald Trump on Tuesday in Singapore, capping a remarkable build-up to the summit that Trump at one point canceled.Mattis also repeated earlier comments that, as far as he knew, the large US troop presence in South Korea would not factor into discussions.

The last several months have been fraught with uncertainty in the run-up to landmark talks between North Korea and Washington. Pyongyang has made several big gestures to signal its commitment to pursuing negotiations, which include releasing U.S. hostages, blowing up a nuclear testing site and changing its clocks so its time is synced to South Korea’s. But the regime has also lashed out against U.S. leadership, including by publishing insulting comments about Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser John Bolton. The comments caused Trump to temporarily cancel the negotiations. For now, it looks like the talks are back on track, but it’s unclear whether either side has a realistic idea of what they hope to achieve.

Within the Trump administration, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appears most adept at dealing with North Korea's leadership. Pompeo has met with North Korean officials at least three times, and last month he suggested that the key to fostering peace on the Korean peninsula was by offering Kim "comfort and security."

South Korean ambassador pick splits with Trump on 'nuclear threat' from North .
<p>President Trump's pick to be ambassador to South Korea said Thursday that North Korea remains a nuclear threat to the U.S., contradicting remarks Trump made a day before.</p>"We have to continue to worry about that," retired Adm. Harry Harris told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing.


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