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Resumption of joint military drills with US subject to discussion: Seoul

Resumption or suspension of joint military drills between South Korea and the United States is subject to discussions between the allies, an official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.

"As of now, the issue has not been discussed between South Korea and the United States," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a daily press briefing.

The remarks came hours after US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said his country had no plans to suspend any more military drills with South Korea.

Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom (Yonhap)
Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom (Yonhap)

"We took the step to suspend several of the largest exercises as a good-faith measure coming out of the Singapore summit. We have no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises," the US military chief said Tuesday (Washington time).

The allies earlier agreed to suspend their joint military drills in South Korea for as long as North Korea maintains good faith in its denuclearization efforts.

The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said the earlier decision to suspend joint military drills only affected those scheduled for the year.

Still, he insisted any changes to the agreement must be subject to additional discussions.

"It is an issue that should be discussed and decided by South Korea and the US while reviewing the progress in the denuclearization of North Korea," the Cheong Wa Dae official said. (Yonhap)