South Korea Seeks India's "Full Support" For Lasting Peace In Peninsula


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met US President Donald Trump for the first ever summit between the two countries, in Singapore last week.

The United States has formally suspended a major military exercise with South Korea that was scheduled for August.

"We are still coordinating additional actions", she said. 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.

Warming ties between North Korea and South Korea come as relations between North Korea and the United States have also improved after tension a year ago over the North's nuclear and missile programs.

Such joint events to mark the anniversary were last held in 2008 at Mount Kumgang on North Korea's east coast.

The athletes from the Koreas will march under a neutral Korean peninsula flag and under the "Korea" name, the statement said. "The drills include high-level commanders in computer-simulated defensive exercises, as well as units in the field, all practicing readiness under a scenario in which the Korean Peninsula goes from peace through a crisis stage and then into open conflict", CNN reported.

The U.S. has about 28,500 troops in South Korea; the number fluctuates between 23,000 and 32,000. Trump cited what he said were the high costs of the large-scale exercises as one reason why he was stopping them and surprisingly called them "very provocative".

South Korean negotiators have also called for North Korea to pull back the thousands of missiles and rocket launchers that threaten Seoul, but North Korea has not commented on that request.

Presidential spokesman Kim Eui-keum said the civilian drill could be held as planned, suspended or modified to reflect "changing circumstances".

The two rivals also agreed to establish new ties and work to build a "lasting and stable peace regime" on the Korean peninsula.

Speaking to reporters in Singapore, Trump said that pausing the drills would save the USA "a tremendous amount of money" and described them as "very provocative" - echoing North Korea's criticism that the exercises are a rehearsal for a US-led invasion.

Onodera added that the decision taken by South Korea and the United States to stop their summer drills would not affect the Pacific drills carried out by the USA and Japan outside the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea said sanctions against the North could be eased once it takes "substantive steps towards denuclearisation", seemingly setting the bar lower than Washington for such a move.

The U.S. -South Korean exercise calendar hits a high point every spring with the Foal Eagle and Max Thunder drills, which both wrapped up last month. Also participating were other nations that contributed forces during the 1950-53 Korean War, including Australia, Britain, Canada and Colombia.

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