Joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea will go ahead, a Pentagon official said on Wednesday (Jul 31), after missile tests and calls for the drills’ cancellation by North Korea.
The affirmation of the annual, joint exercises came amid a series of missile launches by North Korea, one of which is called a “solemn warning to the South Korean warmongers” over the planned military drills.
But despite Pyongyang’s warning that the exercises could also derail further talks with Washington in the long-running diplomatic process over its nuclear and missile programs, the senior US official said there is “no adjustment or change in plans that we’re aware of.”
“We have to do two things: we have to give the diplomats appropriate space for their diplomacy and help create an environment that’s conducive to the talks when they resume – which we expect,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
Washington stations nearly 30,000 troops in the South to defend it from its neighbour, which invaded in 1950.
The annual exercises between the US and South Korea have repeatedly raised the ire of the North, which sees them as a rehearsal for an invasion of its territory.
North Korea launched two missiles Thursday of last week, then followed it up with the firing of two more missiles from its eastern coast on Wednesday, according to the South’s military.
The missiles fired last week travelled much farther – one of them going nearly 700 kilometres – than Wednesday’s, and also reached a higher altitude, 50 kilometres compared to 30.
UN Security Council resolutions ban the North from ballistic missile launches.
more recommended stories
Melania Trump pulls out of campaign rally due to Covid cough
Melania Trump has decided against accompanying.
Senate to vote on Supreme Court justice on 26 October
The Senate will vote on whether.
Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party wins New Zealand election
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Islamic State ‘Beatles’ charged in United States over hostage deaths
Two alleged Islamic State militants known.
United States President Trump to leave hospital after coronavirus treatment
United States President Donald Trump says.
Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for COVID-19
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.