US, South Korea agree to suspend joint military exercise

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"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.

Anticipation over what comes next is swirling amid concern from regional experts, who've argued North Korea (DPRK) and its allies China and Russian Federation came away the big winners of the summit.

The announcement appeared to catch South Korea, as well as Japan, off guard.

Kim's visit to Beijing, while expected, is one way for China to highlight its crucial role in US efforts to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

He added, "I don't think anybody should doubt the unique and important role China plays in this process".

North Korea has always reacted to the Ulchi exercises with belligerence and often its own demonstrations of military capability.

Geng said Beijing supported Russia's calls last week for unilateral sanctions on North Korea - ones that aren't imposed within the United Nations framework - to be canceled immediately.

Trump surprised officials in Seoul and Washington last week when he abruptly announced that he was suspending military exercises with the South, "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should". Yonhap said, however, that some joint training would continue.

This video grab taken from footage released by China Central Television (CCTV) on March 28, 2018 shows Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shaking hands during their meeting in Beijing on March 27, 2018.

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Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said Seoul and Beijing share a "strategic goal" in achieving the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula and that progress in nuclear diplomacy has been facilitating high-level contacts between North Korea and its neighbors.

The Pentagon statement didn't say what decisions would be made on future exercises or how the USA military planned to maintain its readiness and ability to operate effectively with South Korean forces if all major exercises are suspended.

-South Korean "war games".

The South Korean and U.S. military authorities have been having close consultations over the combined exercises that Mr Trump has said he will stop, the source said.

The media report runs counter to Trump's claim that he had first proposed suspending the joint military exercise when he sat down with the North Korean leader Kim in Singapore on June 12.

On 12 June, Mr Trump and Mr Kim signed what the USA president called a "comprehensive" agreement.

Although the allies describe them as defensive and meant to improve coordination, North Korea past year called them " reckless sabre-rattling" that risked sparking an accidental war. North Korea occasionally talks about Sino-North Korean relations in acerbic ways, pointing to the hundreds of invasions by China during the course of its history. "Over here, in our country, some people would rather see this historic deal fail than give Trump a win, even if it does save potentially millions & millions of lives!"

"Our stance is that the sanctions must remain in place until North Korea takes meaningful, substantive steps towards denuclearisation", Ms Kang said according to AFP.

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