The US Department of Defense confirmed Saturday the permanent end of two major joint exercises, dubbed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle.
"Following close coordination, both sides decided to conclude the KEY RESOLVE and FOAL EAGLE series of exercises", the US Department of Defense (DoD) said in a readout of a phone call between US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and his South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo.
According to Yonhap, the allies agreed to maintain robust military readiness through new command post exercises.
"The minister and secretary made clear that the alliance's decision regarding the adjustment of the exercise and drills reflects both countries' expectation to back diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions and achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through a final, full verified method", the South Korean Ministry said, cited by Yonhap.
In past years, Pyongyang has repeatedly slammed the US-South Korean drills as practice runs for a US-led invasion of the North, warning of a possible firm response to the maneuvers and military activity.
Following his historic June 2018 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, Trump, apart from sanctions relief, pledged to suspend annual military exercises in exchange for Pyongyang's efforts of a complete dismantling of the country's nuclear weapons program.
The abrupt end of the Hanoi summit raised concerns among the international community of further steps by Pyongyang on dismantling its nuclear and ICBM facilities. Notably, the US-based media, citing senior US officials, have repeatedly suggested that the US-DPRK talks on denuclearization stalled after the 2018 Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore.
Pyongyang reportedly conducted its last missile launch in November 2017. In late April 2018, Kim announced that the country would suspend ICBM launches and missile tests ahead of summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump.