South Korea and US confirmed today the suspension of scheduled joint military drills. Seoul, which has tens of thousands of US troops on its soil to help protect it from its hostile northern neighbour, said the suspension would affect the large-scale Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises slated for August.
South Korea’s defence ministry said in a statement, that South Korea and the US plan to continue discussions for further measures, adding that no decisions have been reached for other ensuing drills. Some 17,500 US military personnel were due to take part in the drills.
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White also confirmed that US and South Korea are coordinating additional actions. White House said US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton would meet later this week at the Pentagon to discuss the issue.
The forces of the two countries have been training together for years, and routinely rehearse everything from beach landings to an invasion from the North, or even decapitation strikes targeting the North Korean regime.