"Our stance on the holding of the annual joint military exercises, which are defensive in their nature, has not changed. We intend to preserve the existing scope of the maneuvers," Choi said, answering a reporter's question about a possibility of halting the exercises with Washington, in particular, of Ulchi-Freedom Guardian drills amid Pyongyang's protests.
Addressing the issue, Seoul regretted the refusal of North Korea to hold the talks scheduled for May 16, but stressed that the military exercises would be continued in accordance with the plan, despite Pyongyang's protests. The South Korean Unification Ministry, in its turn, underlined that it would continue efforts to pursue a dialogue with Pyongyang.
The next US-South Korean joint military exercises, the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, are set to be held in August.