Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Moon suggests Russian gas be piped to Koreas, Japan

Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana W. White pauses while speaking during a media availability at the Pentagon in Washington Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana W. White pauses while speaking during a media availability at the Pentagon in Washington
Andrew Cummings | 20 June, 2018, 20:18

Officials from North and South said Monday they would form joint teams for certain sports at the Asiad in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18-September 2.The move follows up an agreement between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at their summit in April.

During the Singapore summit between the two leaders on June 12, the US President spoke about his plan to stop "provocative, inappropriate and expensive " war games at Kim's request.

Moon Seong Mook, a former South Korean military official, calls the joint drills and the US troops stationed in South Korea the core of the alliance between the two countries.

Another exercise, Max Thunder, took place in May.

Immediately after the announcement, USA forces in Korea said they had received no guidance on stopping any drills, and South Korean officials said they were trying to figure out which exercises Mr. Trump was referring to.

South Korea's Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard were scheduled to carry out their joint drills from Monday to Tuesday in waters near the rocky outcroppings lying halfway between South Korea and Japan.

"I can assure that the level of consultation between us and the United States at all levels has never been so close and so frequent", she said.

Some, especially in the West, have argued that United States President Donald Trump has effectively sidelined Russian Federation from the rapidly evolving Korean situation by his rapprochement with North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un, at the recent summit in Singapore.

Lim, who is in the USA for meetings with American policymakers on the North Korea issue, refused to answer whether the South Korean government was informed of Trump's decision in advance.

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A South Korean military expert pointed out that "North Korea is also relieved from the burden of deploying troops" by the suspension, and that it "effectively functions as financial aid to North Korea".

Some 17,500 American forces participated in last year's iteration of Ulchi Freedom Guardian, including 3,000 troops who deployed to South Korea specifically for the exercise.

The statement, however, did not include specifications as to how the two nations would reach denuclearization.

Of the Japanese respondents, only 10.2 percent said they believe North Korea's nuclear issues will be resolved within a decade, slightly exceeding last year's figure of 7.4 percent.

The exercises were part of a defensive strategy to prepare troops for a possible attack from North Korea.

Kang said she would not "prejudge or pre-announce" what concrete action toward denuclearization would precisely involve, however, as it is "very much up to North Korea". This is Kim's third trip to China this year, coming a week after he met Trump in Singapore for historic talks.

The exercises were observed by the former head of U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Harry B. Harris, and Gen. John E. Hyten, the head of U.S. Strategic Command.

"Now the North and the USA have removed their long hostile relations and made a historic transition toward a new peace system". And the countries are the most important partners to each other.

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