US, South Korea Announce Suspension of 2018 Ulchi-Freedom Guardian Military Exercise

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North Korea could start the process of handing over the remains of troops, including Americans, missing from the Korean War within the next few days, two USA officials told Reuters on Tuesday. -North Korea summit held in Singapore last week, the South Korean president said it was more successful than he had hoped.

The Pentagon has reluctantly followed the orders of President Donald Trump and canceled the next set of military exercises that US and South Korean forces were to have staged jointly in August. "We are still coordinating additional actions", said White.

"South Korea and the USA made the decision as we believe this will contribute to maintaining such momentum", said Choi Hyun-soo, the ministry's spokeswoman.

The South Korean minister said she had received an "immediate phone call" from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the hours following the Kim-Trump summit.

Chung Mong-gyu, head of the Korea Football Association in Seoul, renewed the offer to North Korea, China and Japan while visiting Moscow for a FIFA general assembly earlier this month, the South's Yonhap news agency reported.

The two sides issued a joint statement after the meeting, promising to build new bilateral relations and work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". The decision, which apparently came without consultations with South Korea or the Pentagon, surprised many in South Korea and the United States who believe the training is a central pillar of their countries' seven-decade military alliance dating back to the 1950-53 Korean War. "I don't think it is my place to make that announcement, I think the United States and North Korean sides are in communications to spell out the schedule".

The announcement says all planning for the exercise has been stopped.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is headed to South Korea next week to discuss the next steps following a rare suspension of joint military exercises over the promise of North Korea's denuclearization. Those are bigger concessions that are unlikely to be granted by the USA without concrete steps by North Korea toward denuclearization.

Abe also intends to propose a new global body to manage the funds provided by each country in collaboration with the United States and South Korea, the sources added.

"Once a peace regime is established on the Korean Peninsula, that is when an era of South-North economic cooperation will take off in earnest and I believe it must be a three-way cooperation that includes Russian Federation", he said.

Ulchi Freedom Guardian is a command and control exercise created to "enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula", the Pentagon said.

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. Plans for U.S. -Japan exercises are unchanged, he added.

Another exercise, Max Thunder, took place in May.

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