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South Korea wants railroad link to Russian Federation through North Korea

20 June 2018

Japanese defense authorities believe that regular military drills between South Korea and the United States have exerted effective pressure on North Korea. Other major combined drills include Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises.

The decision to halt military exercises in South Korea has bewildered many current and former US defence officials, who only learned about it when Trump announced it in Singapore, after the summit with Kim.

The U.S. has more than 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea to deter North Korean aggression since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.

"The symbolism of the meeting ensures that the maximum pressure campaign has peaked", said Scott Snyder, senior fellow for Korea Studies at the US Council on Foreign Relations, in a commentary.

Some, especially in the West, have argued that United States President Donald Trump has effectively sidelined Russian Federation from the rapidly evolving Korean situation by his rapprochement with North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un, at the recent summit in Singapore.

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In announcing his decision, Trump said suspending the "provocative" war games would "save us a tremendous amount of money". -South Korea exercises should also be cancelled due to their financial costs to the United States.

Some 17,500 American forces participated in last year's iteration of Ulchi Freedom Guardian, including 3,000 troops who deployed to South Korea specifically for the exercise.

Officials from the two Koreas met at the border truce village of Panmunjom on Monday and reached several agreements aimed at strengthening sporting ties.

This is the first time in 26 years that joint military exercises is suspended.

India had welcomed the United States-Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) Summit as a "positive development", saying it has "always supported all efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy".

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The suspension will remain effective as long as North Korea stays at the table to discuss its denuclearization.

The computer-simulated exercise is created to enhance the allies' readiness to protect the South from North Korean aggression.

US army personnel and multiple launch rocket systems participate in a defense exercise at the Mugeon-ri drill field near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, June 19, 2018.

The next major drill, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, is planned for the end of the summer. In past talks, North Korea had said it could consider giving up its arsenal if the United States removes its troops from South Korea and withdraws its so-called "nuclear umbrella" of deterrence from South Korea and Japan, a stance Washington has found unacceptable.

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South Korea wants railroad link to Russian Federation through North Korea