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    In a photo taken on March 15, 2016 US soldiers of the 13th and 31st Marine Expeditionary Units gather after arriving on shore during a joint military exercise with South Korea entitled 'Ssang Yong', near the southeastern port city of Pohang

    US, South Korea Agree to Halt Military Drills During 2018 Olympics - Pentagon

    © AFP 2019 / Ed Jones
    Asia & Pacific
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    The presidents of the US and South Korea have held a phone conversation, during which they discussed the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

    The US Ministry of Defense has reported that US President Donald Trump has ordered to postpone joint military exercise with South Korea until after 2018 Winter Olympics.

    "Military exercises should not be held during the Olympics in Pyeongchang," Trump stated as quoted by the Yonhap News Agency, during a telephone conversation with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in.

    "The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that the United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games," the White House said in a press release on Thursday.

    The release said both Trump and Moon also agreed to continue the current campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea.

    Trump has raised the issue of upcoming inter-Korean talks, by expressing hope they would lead to good results and promised to send a high-level delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics, including his family members.

    READ MORE: Trump Calls Resumption of Pyongyang-Seoul Talks 'Good Thing'

    The statement was made on January 3 after a high-ranking North Korean official announced that North Korean President Kim Jong-un ordered the reopening of the contact line between Pyongyang and Seoul to discuss issues related to the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The same day, the representatives of the two countries held the first telephone call via the re-established contact line.

    The tensions on the Korean peninsula have recently escalated due to the repeated nuclear and missile tests carried out by Pyongyang in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

    military drills, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States, South Korea
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