Plan for North Korea denuclearization exists, Seoul reveals

Wind-down of 'irritating' war games US & South Korea suspend military drill planned for August

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North Korea could start the process of handing over the remains of troops, including Americans, missing from the Korean War within the next few days, two USA officials told Reuters on Tuesday. Spokeswoman Dana White said the two countries' senior defense officials were set to meet later this week, including the US' Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

US and South Korean forces have been training together for years, and routinely rehearse everything from beach landings to an invasion from the North, or even "decapitation" strikes targeting the North Korean regime.

In a joint statement afterwards the North committed to "work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", without making an explicit commitment to give up its weapons.

This marks the first time that a civic group has been permitted to visit the North since the Moon Jae-in government was inaugurated in May 2017. The allies have insisted the drills are purely defensive, to ensure they would be ready at a moment's notice if the North were to attack the South.

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Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday there would be no changes to joint drill plans between the United States and Japan, both of which also engage in regular deterrence exercises against North Korea.

North Korea has historically demanded the withdrawal of United States troops from the South, there are signs that Kim Jong Un may be flexible on that, Reuters reported, although China has also raised concern about the presence of USA troops. "There is no impact on Pacific exercises outside of the Korean Peninsula", said White.

"North Korea has strong female paddlers", Kim said.

A brief explanation of U.S.

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Some say the one-day summit helped extend a temporary detente on the Korean Peninsula, but others say it was light on substance and Trump made too many concessions to North Korea.

Spending data for previous military exercises in Korea and elsewhere, however, suggest that the cost of a single exercise would be in the low or perhaps tens of millions of dollars in a US military budget this year of almost $700 billion.

Trump surprised officials in Seoul and Washington last week when he abruptly announced that he was suspending military exercises with the South, "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should".

Certain aspects of the exercises and North Korea's responses have been especially sensitive.

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The president called the readiness exercises "war games" and "provocative" - the same phrases used by North Korea to describe the exercises - and said they cost too much money. "I think what is left now is how completely and swiftly we implement such a wonderful agreement", he said.

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