The US and South Korea have confirmed they will no longer hold large-scale joint military exercises, exercises which have always infuriated North Korea.
The alliance’s defense chiefs said the decision supported “diplomatic efforts to achieve complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”. North Korea regards the games as preparation for a military invasion.
A number of exercises were suspended last year after US President Donald Trump met North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. The defense ministers from the the US and South Korea have now agreed to end the Foal Eagle and Key Resolve series of exercises in a phone call on Saturday.
Critics have said cancelling the drills could undermine US and South Korean military defenses against the North, but others say those concerns are unjustified. President Trump has previously complained of the cost of such exercises, although he has ruled out withdrawing US troops from the peninsula – currently numbering about 30,000.