The Trump administration agreed to postpone planned military exercises with South Korea until after Seoul hosts the Olympic Winter Games next month, a possible diplomatic opening with North Korea that sees the drills as a rehearsal for an invasion.
President Trump agreed “to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises” during a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae In, the White House said in a statement Thursday.
“The Department of Defense supports the president’s decision and what is in the best interest of the ROK-US alliance,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said, referring to South Korea by its formal name — the Republic of Korea.
The understanding pushes back the annual operations, known as Foal Eagle and designed to test the countries’ military readiness, until after the games end on Feb. 25.
Fears have been rising on the Korean peninsula that that will be held in Pyeongchang, just 50 miles from the border with North Korea.
The development comes as after Kim in a New Year’s Day speech raised the possibility of talking to Seoul about sending a team of athletes to the games.
Earlier Thursday, , saying it happened because of his “strong” stand on the reclusive regime.
“With all of the failed ‘experts’ weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total ‘might’ against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!,” .
With Post wires