Monday, March 25, 2019
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

US, South Korea hold small-scale drills before N Korea talks

Exercises taking place days before talks on North Korea denuclearisation and planned second Trump-Kim summit.

About 500 American and South Korean marines began small-scale military drills on Monday, days before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to hold talks with North Korea on denuclearisation and a planned second summit of their leaders.

Large-scale military exercises between the two countries were suspended in June after US President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

But small-scale drills have continued, South Korea's Ministry of National Defense said on Monday.

This week's exercises follow a warning by North Korea on Friday that it could resume development of its nuclear programme if the United States did not drop its campaign of "maximum pressure" and sanctions.

"The improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible," a foreign ministry official said in a statement released through state-run KCNA news agency.

"The US thinks that its oft-repeated 'sanctions and pressure' lead to 'denuclearisation'. We cannot help laughing at such a foolish idea."

'Progress'

Pompeo told CBS's Face the Nation he expected "real progress" during talks with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, when they meet at the end of the week in New York.

South Korea hopes North Korea and the United States will make "big progress" during the talks set for this week, presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said on Monday, but declined to comment on North Korea's Friday statement.

North Korea has not tested a ballistic missile or nuclear weapon for nearly a year, and has said it closed its main nuclear test site and plans to dismantle several more facilities.

In recent weeks, North Korea has pressed harder for what it sees as reciprocal concessions by the United States and other countries.

American officials have remained sceptical of Kim's commitment to giving up his nuclear arsenal, however, and Washington says it will not support easing international sanctions until more verified progress is made.

Pompeo, interviewed on Fox News Sunday, said the Trump administration wants a full, verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, adding the president insisted on "no economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective".


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Wildfires deadliest on record in Ca...

Read More

California wildfires death toll at ...

Read More

California wildfires: Death toll ri...

Read More

Raging California wildfires kill 9,...

Read More

Brazil landslide: At least 10 dead ...

Read More

Florida orders recount in contentio...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid