Will the annual Korean-US military exercises take place?

SEOUL, BM, ($1= 1,150.68 South Korean Won) – South Korea and the United States have not yet decided when and how to conduct the annual summer military exercises, Yonhap said, citing the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea.

“South Korea and the United States are holding close consultations based on the situation,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Pu Son Chan at a regular press briefing.

He noted that consideration of this issue is not over yet. The Defense Ministry spokesman added that Seoul has no plans to hold inter-Korean talks to discuss the issue of joint exercises between the United States and South Korea.

Meanwhile, Lee Jun Chu, a ministry spokesman for the reunification of the two Koreas, said South Korea would resolve the issue of joint military exercises with the United States in a “wise” and “flexible” way so as not to escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

According to her, “the joint military exercises of South Korea and the United States should not be used as an opportunity to escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula under any circumstances.”

A senior Korean unification ministry official recently told reporters that it was “desirable” for South Korea and the United States to suspend their summer military exercises, citing the global coronavirus pandemic and the need to include North Korea.

South Korea and the United States are expected to hold annual joint military exercises in August.

Earlier, the sister of the leader of the DPRK and deputy head of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party Kim Yeong said that the annual summer military exercises between South Korea and the United States will have a bad effect on inter-Korean relations.

According to her, the exercises “seriously undermine the will of the top leaders of the North and the South, who want to take a step towards restoring mutual trust”, and also “darken the prospects for North-South relations”.

“Our government and army will closely monitor whether the South Korean side will conduct hostile military exercises in August or make another bold decision,” she added.

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