U.S. Scales Back On Joint Drills As N. Korea Progresses On Denuclearization Of Peninsula - FbiCables Network | The News that Shapes World Opinion

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

U.S. Scales Back On Joint Drills As N. Korea Progresses On Denuclearization Of Peninsula


South Korean soldiers stand guard during a press tour to the Taesungdong freedom village inside the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, in Paju, South Korea, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet at the southern side of the Panmunjom on Friday, April 27. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Record low numbers of troops sent to this year’s joint drills in South Korea spell good news for U.S.-North Korean relations.
Ahead of an expected meeting with Kim Jong Un, the U.S. and South Korea are scaling back their presence on the North Korean peninsula.
A report Tuesday revealed this years joint military exercises began a month later than usual to allow Pyeongchang to host this year’s Winter Olympics.
Only around 12,000 U.S. troops participated in the exercises, which is down from nearly 200,000 at the peak of the “war games.”
The move reportedly comes in response to the rogue regime suspending its nuclear testing.
In this photo released by South Korea Presidential Blue House, South Korean President Moon Jae-in talks on phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (South Korea Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via AP)
“North Korea’s decision to freeze the nuclear program can be an important beginning for the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-in. “It can also be said that it is a green light that increases the chance of success of the inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korea summits.”
The drills are expected to continue until the end of the month.
In the past, North Korea has called the operation an intimidation tactic, accusing the U.S. and South Korea of using the drills as a cover to “rehearse an invasion.”
However, after steady pressure from the U.N. Security Council it appears the north has become receptive to negotiations.
“You know, in the case of North Korea, you could see that the Security Council really came together and was able to enforce sanctions on North Korea, isolate them until they had a good behavior and now we are seeing they want to come to the table,” stated U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Still, the U.S. and South Korea are cautious. The allied nations attempted a similar strategy in 1992, but were forced to abandon the accord after North Korean officials refused to allow inspections of their missile silos.
For now however, the U.S. remains optimistic as talks with the north are expected to begin by the end of May.

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