Seoul and Washington said the United States and South Korea next month will resume joint military exercises, that will go ahead despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The Foal Eagle field exercise is scheduled to begin on April 1 and go on for a month, while the computer-simulated Key Resolve will be held for two weeks starting in mid-April. The South Korean and U.S. militaries usually stage the two drills in March for about two months but the period of this year’s field exercise was cut by half, mainly due to the Olympics.
The exercises will be of a “scale similar to that of the previous years” and are meant “to improve our readiness against various North Korean threats”, a South Korean military official told reporters.
The Pentagon said the North Korean military had been notified about the schedule for the drills by the United Nations Command. “Our combined exercises are defence-oriented and there is no reason for North Korea to view them as a provocation,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan said.