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U.S. to reveal drill plan next month


The U.S. and South Korea will lay out their plans for joint military drills before April, according to South Korea's Ministry of National Defense, Tuesday.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have eased since past year resulting in inter-Korean talks and North Korea sending a high-level delegation led by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong Un, and athletes to the Winter Olympics.

Seoul and Washington intend to stage the now postponed annual joint military drills "as planned", United States Forces Korea (USFK) confirmed to NK News on Tuesday.

South Korea has also been floating the idea of co-hosting the 2021 Asian Winter Games with North Korea, which the South's Yonhap news agency on February 20 reported a North Korean official as saying might be possible.

South Korean and US defense chiefs will announce the dates when the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics ends on March 18, he said, and before April 1.

Following the announcement, the North and South agreed to hold talks for the first time in two years in order to "ease the current military tensions."

The two militaries typically hold two operations in March and April called Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, according to Reuters.




U.S. Forces Korea, which oversees the 28,500 servicemembers stationed in the South, also reiterated the drills will be held as planned.

But the communist state hates the joint war games, which are held in the spring and the fall, and warned on Monday that a move to restart them would be "a wild act of ruthlessly trampling even a small sprout of peace that has been now seen on the Korean peninsula".

"I am aware that discussion between the South Korean and the USA military authorities are underway to resume the military drills", Cho Myoung-Gyon said, saying he saw no reason to oppose them.

The North has conducted a spate of test launches over the past year, including that of a long-range missile experts believe is capable of striking most of the U.S. It also unleashed its most powerful nuclear blast to date in September, in what it claimed was a test of a thermonuclear weapon.

North Korea may make its Masikryong ski resort available for the Games, said Chang Ung, the country's representative on the International Olympic Committee.

"There is still a risk of conflict between North Korea and the US, but fortunately the two countries seem to have been feeling the need for dialogue lately", he said during a meeting with Slovenia's president, according to his office.

The North's response continued: "It is a provocative act of chilling the active efforts of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and enthusiasm of the global community to defuse tension and create a peaceful environment".

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