S. Korea-U.S. joint military exercises will be replaced with scaled-down new ones to back diplomacy for denuclearization and long-lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
According to the two countries' defense authorities on Sunday,… Seoul and Washington have decided to revise their joint annual drills known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle.
The decision was made after a 45-minute telephone conversation the day before,… between Seoul's Defense Minister, Jeong Kyeong-doo, and acting U.S. Defense Secretary ( ) Patrick Shanahan.
It's a decision that reflects their will to maintain dialogue with Pyongyang, despite the breakdown in negotiations at the second North Korea-U.S. summit.
Following close coordination,… both sides decided to introduce changes to the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises, which are held every springtime.
The command and control Key Resolve exercise could be replaced by a new drill named 'Dong Maeng,' which means alliance in English.
The nine-day simulated war games are scheduled to kick off on Monday.
The two nations will also downsize Foal Eagle's field drills to battalion-level maneuvers, and conduct smaller, but more frequent field training throughout the year.
Despite the reduction in scale, the allies pledged to maintain a high level of combat readiness through more missions-specific training programs.
The two sides made it clear that their decision was in support of diplomatic efforts to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Last year, Seoul and Washington downsized a number of major joint exercises, including Ulchi Freedom Guardian and Vigilant Ace in the midst of warming ties with North Korea.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.