By Kim Young Shin
President Moon Jae-in said that the government will cautiously consider suspending joint military drills with the U.S. as a follow-up action to the NK-U.S. summit.
“If North Korea sincerely implements denuclearization measures and faithfully continues talks with South Korea and the United States to help ease hostile relations, it is necessary to flexibly change the military pressure against the North, in line with the spirit of building mutual trust as agreed in the Panmunjeom Declaration,” said the president during a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) at Cheong Wa Dae on June 14. “We will carefully consider the possibility of suspending Korea-U.S. joint military exercises.”
“Now peace and development on the Korean Peninsula have to be approached from a more inclusive point of view, moving beyond the security issues of the denuclearization of the North and the guarantees to the regime,” said President Moon. “It’s time to embrace the new spirit of the times of peace on the Korean Peninsula and mutual prosperity of the two Koreas.”
Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo talked with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis on June 14 over the phone to discuss the joint drills.
“The two government officials shared their opinions on overall joint military excercises in depth, including the upcoming Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises,” said the Ministry of National Defense. “They agreed to maintain close cooperation and to meet at the earliest possible date to continue their discussion.”