South Korean military exercises to begin April 1

South Korea's National Security Office chief, Chung Eui-yong, met USA national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Japan's national security adviser, Shotaro Yachi, to discuss summit meetings between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the Blue House in Seoul said.

A postponed South Korea-US joint military exercise will resume April 1, South Korean and the US militaries said Tuesday, with the scope of field-training Foal Eagle to be halved in length from two months to one.

The participants are expected to discuss upcoming summit talks between the two Koreas, and the US and North Korea.

"Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and the Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo have agreed to resume the annual combined exercises including Foal Eagle and Key Resolve which were de-conflicted with the schedule of the Olympic Games".

The U.S. -led United Nations Command notified the North Korean army at the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone at 8:30 a.m., it said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's envoy and others said after their visit to the North this month that North Korea invited a South Korean art troupe and a taekwondo team to perform in Pyongyang.

But the communist state has been largely mum since a South Korean delegation returned from Pyongyang and said Kim had expressed a desire to meet with President Donald Trump as soon as possible.

About 28,500 US servicemembers are stationed in South Korea. In the past Pyongyang and even China have asked that the U.S. halt such exercises to allow for diplomatic negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program.

In a statement, the White House also referred to avoiding mistakes of the past and said the advisers met to discuss the summit and the "permanent" denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

A senior North Korean diplomat left for Finland on Sunday for talks with former USA and South Korean officials, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.



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