The comments come a day after South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that he had proposed to the United States to postpone the joint drills until after the 2018 Winter Olympics in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang in order to reduce tensions in the region and prevent possible provocations of Pyongyang.
“Because the Olympics is an international event and the North Korean nuclear issue is creating a global crisis, it is only natural that we make efforts to find a solution [to the North Korean nuclear issue] through the Olympic Games if we must … It cannot but affect a decision [to delay drills] should there be an additional provocation,” the official said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.
He added that South Korea was waiting for the response of the United States, adding that Washington regarded possible postponement of the drills as “a matter worth considering.”
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games will take place in Pyeongchang on February 9-25. The South Korean resort city is located just 50 miles south of the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas.