Military Exercises with South Korea to Start April 1

(From Politico)

At a potentially pivotal moment of diplomacy with North Korea, the Pentagon said Monday that annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises that had been postponed for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will begin April 1.

In a brief statement, the Pentagon said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, agreed to go forward with the maneuvers, known as Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, “at a scale similar to” that of previous years.

North Korea has been notified of the schedule “as well as the defensive nature” of the exercises, the Pentagon said.

The timing and size of the annual maneuvers are especially sensitive this year because of heightened tension over the North’s accelerated work last year on a nuclear-armed missile potentially capable of reaching the United States – followed, unexpectedly, by prospects for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis.

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