Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, August 25th, 2019

US & South Korea Agree to Scrap Major Military Drills to Foster Denuclearization – Seoul

US & South Korea Agree to Scrap Major Military Drills  to Foster Denuclearization – Seoul

WASHINGTON - Washington and Seoul will no longer conduct the large-scale Foal Eagle and Key Resolve war games, the South Korean Defense Ministry said on Sunday. It comes several days after US President Trump complained about the drills’ cost.
The cancelation of the annual war games, originally scheduled to kick off in spring, was announced by the South Korean military, as it made public the details of a call between acting US defense chief Patrick Shanahan and his South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, Yonhap reported.
Seoul said that the move to call off the exercises was in support of the diplomatic efforts to pursue a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. The drills have been paired since 2001 and traditionally take place in February and March. North Korea saw the allies’ annual saber-rattling as preparation for invasion.
“The minister and secretary made clear that the alliance’s decision regarding the adjustment of the exercise and drills reflects both countries’ expectation to back diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions and achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through a final, full verified method,” the ministry said in a statement.
By ditching the costly war games, the US and South Korea are not eliminating joint exercises completely. They are planning new command-post drills and will continue to carry out field maneuvers. However, these are expected to be conducted on a significantly lower scale. In the run-up to the announcement, unnamed officials told CNN that Washington and Seoul might instead carry out drills “at a small unit level” that would feature “virtual training.” NBC News reported, also citing officials, that the large-scale war games would be replaced by “mission-specific training.” ...(More on P4)...(12)