North and South Korea discuss reunion meetings for divided families

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Both Russia and China are on the record as saying they would like the U.S.to freeze exercises, and North Korea has long complained about the maneuvers, calling them proof of USA "ambition for military confrontation" against North Korea in a commentary on May 29.

The announcement comes about a week after President Trump first announced that the United States would be suspending joint military exercises with South Korea while negotiations with North Korea are ongoing.

The drill's suspension would have been unthinkable a year ago, when North Korea sharply raised animosity with a torrid run of nuclear and long-range missile tests that put the country closer to acquiring a nuclear arsenal capable of targeting the US mainland. -South Korean drills was a "positive and constructive move". "The South and the US plan to continue consultations over additional measures".

Park, who is South Korea's ambassador for public diplomacy now, had spent her early years of diplomatic career here from 1989 to 1992.

It is the first time the United States and South Korea have suspended the so-called war games since 1994.

"Maybe in the future but right now our military is focused on assets and security in the peninsula because our security in the peninsula is still very vulnerable and we are focusing on our region", she said.

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In 1954, the U.S. -led U.N. Command started the Focus Lens exercise. Friday's talks are expected to set up the exact date and location for the reunions and determine the number of people participating from both countries.

Defense officials are also scrambling to pull together cost estimates for the various exercises with the South to inform Trump's assertion that the suspension will save an enormous amount of money.

Diplomatic efforts have gathered pace since then, leading to a landmark summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore last week.

The Pentagon did not go beyond suspending the next exercise on Monday, saying that it is still coordinating additional actions and no decisions have been made on future exercises.

During a press briefing in Seoul, the foreign minister said she was in in close communication with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the drills directly following the Singapore summit.

But if North Korea doesn't reciprocate by taking serious steps toward denuclearization, the allies would be compelled to resume the drills, and that would certainly draw a furious response from North Korea, which views the exercises as rehearsals for an invasion, experts say.

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The decision to halt military exercises in South Korea has bewildered many current and former US defense officials, who only learned about it when Trump made his remarks.

More than 30,000 US troops participate in the American portion of the exercise.

However, Kyodo News quoted senior Japanese government officials as saying that they remain concerned that the drill suspension could weaken the deterrence effect provided by the U.S.

South Korea uses a computerized lottery to pick participants for the reunions, while North Korea is believed to choose based on loyalty to its authoritarian leadership.

Since 2000, about 23,676 separated Koreans, from both North and South, have met or interacted through videolink as part of the program, the Hyundai Research Institute thinktank said.

The Japan Times predicts the cancellation of UFG will "stoke concern in Japan", which has been anxious that suspending U.S.

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