RoK presidential adviser says U.S.-RoK drills to start early April -Yonhap

Wednesday, 2018-02-28 23:55:43
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The Republic of Korea (RoK) and U.S. Marines take part in a winter military drill in Pyeongchang, RoK, December 19, 2017. (Photo:REUTERS)
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The Republic of Korea (RoK) and the United States will start in early April a joint military exercise postponed until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, a RoK presidential security adviser said according to Yonhap news agency.

Moon Chung-in, speaking at a seminar in Washington, said he is "aware the drills will begin in the first week of April", reported Yonhap on February 28.
"However, if there are talks between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) before the drills there may be some kind of compromise," Moon added, saying he hopes for dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington to begin.

The RoK and U.S. militaries usually hold their Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises in March and April, which can involve as many as 17,000 U.S. troops and over 300,000 RoK.

Government officials in Seoul have said they are not against the exercises going on as planned, while RoK's Defence Minister Song Young-Moon said earlier this month he and his U.S. counterpart, Jim Mattis, would make an announcement on the drill plans between the end of the Winter Paralympics on March 18 and the start of April.

Mattis has said the postponement was due to logistical concerns.

Song, who attended a parliament session on February 28, declined to comment on Moon's remarks when asked by lawmakers for details on the joint drill.

DPRK sees this regular drill, as well as other joint drills conducted by the RoK and the United States, as practice for war and has threatened it would not sit idle if the postponed exercise is held as planned.