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People's Daily Online

Pentagon says no change on U.S. military posture regarding Korean Peninsula

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 08:34, August 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 -- U.S. Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said on Wednesday that the United States has not changed its military posture regarding the Korean Peninsula after the historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong Un, in June.

White tweeted that "our #military posture has not changed since the conclusion of the #Singapore summit."

"No decisions have been made about suspending any future exercises," she noted, adding that "the #DoD suspended three individual military exercises in order to provide space for our diplomats to negotiate the verifiable, irreversible and complete denuclearization of the #KoreanPeninsula."

"The US-#ROK alliance remains ironclad. Our forces maintain a high state of military readiness and vigilance in full support of a diplomatically-led effort to bring peace, prosperity and stability to the #KoreanPeninsula," White added.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Tuesday that the United States has no plans to suspend any more military exercises with South Korea.

He added that Washington has not made decisions on whether to continue suspending major military exercises with South Korea for next year, noting "we are going to see how the negotiations go, and then we will calculate the future, how we go forward."

South Korea's presidential Blue House said Wednesday in response that the United States has made no request to South Korea for talks about the resumption of their joint annual military drills, which the two allies had agreed to suspend as long as dialogue with the DPRK lasts.

Kim Eui-keum, spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said that it will be an issue to be discussed and determined by the two allies after considering progress in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Asked about the third summit between Moon and Kim, the spokesman said the upcoming summit will play a bigger role in finding a breakthrough in standoff between Pyongyang and Washington.

Trump met with Kim on June 12, when they promised to build new bilateral relations and work toward a "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

After the meeting, Trump said the United States would stop war games with South Korea "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should." He also said the drills were "very expensive" and "provocative" "war games."

Last year's Ulchi Freedom Guardian, attended by about 17,500 U.S. military forces, went on for 11 days.

Another major U.S. exercises with South Korea, codenamed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, took place earlier this spring.

Pyongyang has denounced the exercises as a rehearsal for northward invasion and a violation of the spirit of the Panmunjom Declaration issued during the inter-Korean summit in late April.

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