15:40 GMT +322 September 2019
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    US Not Scaling Back Military Exercises With South Korea, Building Up Capability

    © AFP 2019 / STAN HONDA
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is not reducing the extent of its military exercises with South Korea, but is building up its military capability, US Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan said in a press conference on Monday.

    "I don't think we're scaling back exercises, I think we're building up capability," Shanahan said when asked if he shares concerns that scaling back US-South Korean military exercises could hurt readiness.

    Shanahan noted that he and his visiting South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo will talk about joint military exercises coming up in September as well as about lessons learned from the joint military exercises undertaken in March.

    On March 2, the US Defence Department said the United States and South Korea had agreed to stop their Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint exercises after telephone talks between Shanahan and Jeong.

    READ MORE: US, South Korea Representatives Discuss Denuclearization — State Department

    However, South Korean media reported that Shanahan and Jeong had also agreed to maintain robust military readiness through new command post exercises.

    On March 4, the nine-day joint command post drills named Dong Maeng (Alliance) began in place of the large-scale Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises that North Korea had repeatedly slammed as preparations for invasion.

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    Tags:
    military drills, Patrick Shanahan, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), South Korea, United States
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