South Korea, US ‘to halt military exercises’ (News)

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“This week, the South Korean and US defence ministries will jointly announce the results of their discussions,” the source added.

Trump’s plan to stop “war games” with South Korea is stirring up heated debate, with supporters calling it a goodwill gesture to facilitate the North’s denuclearisation and nay-sayers as a blow to the bilateral alliance.

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Amid dialogue with the North in 1992, Seoul and Washington cancelled their Team Spirit exercise, which resumed the following year.

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The allies’ militaries have long defended their regular exercises as purely “defensive in nature”, rejecting the North’s persistent claim that the drills are aimed at making a nuclear foray into the North’s territory.

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The allied exercises are based on a series of joint contingency plans that delineate a series of procedures to handle a wide range of scenarios, such as a full-blown war triggered by attacks or invasion by the North.

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At Tuesday’s summit, the North Korean leader reaffirmed his commitment to the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula in a joint statement with Trump. But it drew criticism as it lacked specifics such as a timeline or a method for nuclear disarmament.

AAP

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