SKorea says U.S. drills suspended to aid talks with North

Leroy Wright
June 20, 2018

South Korean K-55 self-propelled howitzers artillery relocate after participating in a defense exercise at the Mugeon-ri drill field near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, 19 June 2018.

Trump and Kim met last Tuesday in Singapore in their countries' first-ever summit.

The spring maneuvers - actually two overlapping exercises called Key Resolve and Foal Eagle - include live-fire drills with tanks, aircraft and warships.

North Korea is estimated to have thousands massive artillery guns hidden in hardened shelters among the hills and mountains of the country's rugged terrain. Given China's influence in North Korea, it is easy to imagine Kim Jong-un's concern that Beijing could replace him with his elder brother, if the younger Kim stepped too far out of line.

Xi greeted Kim warmly, in images carried on state television.

Kang said she would not "prejudge or pre-announce" what concrete action toward denuclearization would precisely involve, however, as it is "very much up to North Korea".

At the Singapore summit Trump said he would cancel the "war games" that he said were both enormously expensive and "provocative", as an act of good faith and in response to North Korea's commitment to denuclearization, its continued suspension of nuclear and missile teats, and the recent closing of its nuclear testing site.

Trump and Kim have a common friend in the sport of basketball.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov and Pompeo focused on the Syrian settlement and also talked about "consolidating efforts to solve the problems of the Korean Peninsula".

Crying for 'Mami' and 'Papá' at a Border Patrol detention center
One utterly distressed Salvadoran girl, which ProPublica said was all of six, can be heard begging authorities to call her aunt. Almost 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.

That, incidentally, could explain North Korea's assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the elder half-brother of Kim Jong-un, in 2017.

A week after President Donald Trump's surprise announcement about ending "war games" on the Korean Peninsula, the Pentagon and South Korea confirmed Monday that they had called off a major annual military exercise slated to take place in August. A meeting at the Pentagon between the Secretary of Defence, Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor has been convened for later in the week to discuss the issue, the statement said.

"Consistent with President Trump's commitment and in concert with our Republic of Korea ally, the United States military has suspended all planning for this August's defensive "wargame" (Freedom Guardian)", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement late Monday.

The next major drill, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, is planned for the end of the summer.

However, Yoshihide Suga, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan noted o Tuesday that no changes will be made in the joint drill scheduled for the United States and Japan.

Seoul will also use the two-way or three-way communication channels established after the inter-Korean and the DPRK-U.S. summit "to push the agenda forward", she added.

Seoul and Washington describe the move as a temporary measure to prolong ongoing detente on the Korean Peninsula and increase the chances of successful nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.

"Our view of the threat has not changed".

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