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S. Korea to resume joint military drills with US

S. Korea to resume joint military drills with US

The South Korean and United States military conduct teachings in March and April, which usually include 17,000 United States soldiers and over 300,000 South Koreans.

In a pair of blistering commentaries released Monday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency blasted the USA over what it said were moves to stifle the emerging intra-Korean detente, saying that the country is "fully ready for both dialogue and war" and prepared to respond to any US "provocation by prompt counterstrike".

Song said Seoul and Washington maintain their joint stance that the annual military drills were delayed in the spirit of the Olympics and until the Winter Games are over, the allies will neither confirm nor deny future plans.

The comments came after acting Chargé d'Affaires Marc Knapper suggested the drills could resume as soon as the Olympics wrap up on February 25, adding the issue of suspending future war games on the peninsula has not been considered by the Trump White House, Chinese media outlet Xinhua News reported.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have eased since a year ago resulting in inter-Korean talks and North Korea sending a high-level delegation led by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong Un, and athletes to the Winter Olympics.

With the start date for the large-scale exercises yet to be confirmed, Seoul's Defense Ministry reported to lawmakers Tuesday that South Korea and the US will conduct their spring Key Resolve manoeuvres to defend against the North's missile threat, according to Yonhap News Agency.

He also said the North didn't ask for the postponement of the drills as a condition for participating in the Olympics or the inter-Korean talks.

Chinese officials condemn Franklin Institute after terracotta warrior thumb theft
Wu also "strongly condemned" the Franklin Institute for not looking after the statues, according to CCTV. She blames the incident on a contractor who did not follow security protocols the night of the theft.

A US Forces Korea spokesman confirmed the position to Agence France-Presse.

North Korea has won positive press for their Olympic diplomatic maneuvers.

The two countries put off the exercises in an effort to make sure that the Winter Olympics won't be affected by tensions with North Korea.

"Trump and his clique are racketeering to nip peace in the bud that started sprouting on the Korean peninsula", KCNA said in a commentary.

-South Korea drills practice for an invasion and overthrow of the North's regime. The communist state test-fired several missiles and conducted its sixth and most powerful underground nuclear test previous year.

"North Korea will continue to pursue its united front tactics on the peninsula, "decoupling" of the USA from the ROK, acceptance as a 'normal nuclear state, ' and sanctions relief", he added, using the acronym for South Korea's formal name.


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