ROK official: No change to U.S. troops in S. Korea


During the talks, the North is said to have demanded the suspension of joint military drills between South Korea and the United States.

It went nowhere, primarily because of the politics surrounding North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un's bid to build up his nuclear and missile programs. They agreed to continue close consultations to implement the agreement at the North Korea-U.S. summit, including detailed discussions on joint military exercises, particularly the upcoming Ulchi Freedom Guardian in August. The offer by the North's military officials came during talks with the South's military on Thursday, and South Korea will "actively pursue" disarmament in the area, the spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, said on Friday.

The US has stationed combat troops in South Korea since the Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice and no peace treaty.

However, the parties agreed to continue to work on finding solutions on these issues, said in a joint press release.

South Korea's Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper said in an article on Friday that stopping the joint drills will promote the denuclearization process.

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Meanwhile, former U.S. officials and defence analysts said Trump's decision on joint military exercises could weaken allied defenses in the Asia-Pacific, and potentially damage diplomatic relations in the region.

Michael Green, who was Asia director on the National Security Council staff during the George W Bush administration, said the likely damage from suspending drills is multiplied by Trump's failure to inform South Korean and Japanese officials in advance and his focus on cost-savings. He said that sanctions against the DPRK will remain in force but will be repealed as soon as the nuclear weapon "will no longer be a factor".

In the relations between North and South Korea began warming.

However, expectations of trade with North Korea have helped revive property prices in the Chinese city of Dandong, which borders North Korea.