United States and South Korea have agreed to indefinitely suspend two exchange program training exercises, to support diplomatic negotiations with North Korea.
The move comes after the two countries announced the shelving of the large-scale Ulchi freedom guardian exercises slated for august, making good on a pledge by President Donald Trump during his summit with North Korea’s Leader.
The decision followed a high-level meeting between defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford, and national security advisor john Bolton.
In a statement, pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said to support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore summit, and in coordination with our republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises.
Two Korean marine exchange program training exercises scheduled to occur in the next three months have now been shelved.
Some 17,500 US military personnel were due to take part in the freedom guardian drills.
Last week, after his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong UN, Trump made the surprise announcement that the us would halt “War Games” with its South Korean security ally — without making clear when the freeze would begin.
US and South Korean forces 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.
Pyongyang typically reacts furiously. Following drills last year, the north fired ballistic missiles over japan, triggering global alarm.