U.S., S. Korea suspend joint air defense exercise

The United States has suspended another military exercise with South Korea to give diplomatic maneuvers with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) “every opportunity to continue,” the U.S. military said.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo reached the agreement to suspend joint air defense exercise Vigilant Ace, Pentagon spokesperson Dana White was quoted as saying by local TV Channel NewsAsia in a statement on Friday.

“Both ministers are committed to modifying training exercises to ensure the readiness of our forces,” White added.

Mattis and Jeong held talks Friday on the sidelines of the 12th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the 5th ADMM-Plus. Mattis also discussed the issue with Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya.

U.S. President Donald Trump met with DPRK top leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June, and after the meeting, Trump announced the suspension of several joint military drills with South Korea.

Vigilant Ace is previously scheduled for December this year.

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