Experts note the smaller scale annual maneuvers before the anticipated summit with the participation of leaders of North and South Korea
Seoul – the permanent Cessation of joint us-South Korean military exercises that began this week, could be a key topic at the upcoming talks on the nuclear program of North Korea.
Annual joint military exercises have been postponed for the sake of peace in the period of the Olympic games in South Korea. Furthermore, their scale has been reduced to facilitate future negotiations with Pyongyang.
This year teaching “the Young eagle” and “Key resolve” will be like the maneuvers of the past. In them will take part more than 23 thousand American and 300 thousand South Korean military. They will develop a reaction to a computer-generated attack scenarios of North Korea.
However, this year special emphasis is placed on the nature of these defensive maneuvers, not offensive operations against the leadership in Pyongyang, which was worked out in the past.
It is expected that this time the exercises will not be involved American bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers. Duration of exercise was also reduced.
“In fact, the duration was reduced by half. Although it was announced that the exercises at the same level as in normal years, we can see that their size has diminished,” says Kim Tae Woo, a military analyst from the University of Kunyan, who has previously worked at the Korea Institute of military analysis problems.
On Monday, the government in Seoul almost do not deign attention to the beginning of military exercises. Instead, the Ministry of unification of the country focused on the ongoing improvement of inter-Korean relations, which has resulted in the concert of pop artists from South Korea in Pyongyang.
The concert was attended by North Korean leader Kim Jong-UN, which was seen as a goodwill gesture in response to visit to a concert of North Korean orchestra in Seoul, the President mun Jae Otherwise. The orchestra came to South Korea as part of the North Korean Olympic delegation.
“The fact that the leaders of both Koreas watched the artists the other side, like a spring breeze creates a good atmosphere for the successful conduct of the inter – Korean summit,” – said the representative of the Ministry of unification Baek Dae Hyun.
Pyongyang and Seoul agreed to hold a summit with the participation of Kim Jong-UN and moon Jae-In on April 27.
The reduced scale joint military exercises, apparently, is a temporary assignment to continue diplomatic efforts with North Korea, which recently withdrew from threats to conduct missile and nuclear tests and agreed to take part in upcoming negotiations with South Korea and the United States.
However, there is concern that the further reduction and phasing out joint exercises may be one of the key topics of the talks.
“To achieve progress in denuclearization, South Korea will need to reduce the scale or even cancel joint military exercises in the future,” says Ko Myung-Hyun, an expert on North Korea from Hasanskogo Institute of political studies in Seoul.
Pyongyang called the joint exercises a rehearsal for invasion. However, in a recent meeting with the South Korean diplomatic envoy Chun Yung Yy North Korean leader did not object to the exercise.
However, Kim Jong-UN also said that the removal of a military threat against the North, which was previously understood to be the cessation of US military presence in Korea, will be a key condition for nuclear disarmament.
“North Korea presented a clear vision of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and declared that the preservation of its nuclear program will not be necessary, if you disappear a military threat to the DPRK and secure regime,” said Chung Yy Yong, who is President moon Jae-Ins for national security.
South Korean President trying to find a balance between the development of contacts with DPRK and maintaining military Alliance with the United States. However, its willingness to reduce measures to strengthen national security for its diplomatic agenda could undermine a campaign of “maximum pressure” pursued by the United States.
“From the point of view of the United States, our ally, it may be perceived as a step to reduce the credibility of the Alliance,” says Professor Kim Dae-Woo.
So far, the President of the United States Donald trump, who promised to maintain in force the sanctions against North Korea and to be ready to use military force if necessary, shows flexibility, which was expressed in his willingness to meet with Kim Jong-UN and a positive response to a request from South Korean President to reduce the scale of joint exercises, to give diplomats a chance.