The United States will no long conduct large scale military drills with South Korea. Instead of big annual major exercises U.S. and South Korea will conduct smaller, less costly training projects.
The announcement comes after Donald Trump concluded the second summit with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, which ended without an agreement. However both nations agreed to continue to keep talking.
In the past the joint exercise involved 30,000 US forces and 2,00,000 South Korean forces.
The South Korean defence minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and his US counterpart Patrick Shanahan spoke to one and other, and both decided to forgo the joint military exercise. The decision was reached to support ongoing diplomatic efforts for North Korea’s denuclearisation and ease military tensions with the North.
Some people who oppose the decision, suggest that scrapping the drills will give North Korea a strategic advantage in the divided peninsula.
The large scale training exercise was suspended last year as well after President Trump promised to stop “provocative” was games after his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last year.
Another set of drills were cancelled in October last year to further the diplomatic progress with Pyongyang.