North Korean diplomats talking to South Korean officials in the demilitarized border zone between the two countries reportedly offered to remove their long range artillery guns, which have been a dagger pointed at Seoul's throat for decades.
In 1945, when American and ex-Soviet forces captured the Korean peninsula, Japanese rule over Korea ended and eventually South Korea took control of Dokdo islands.
Asked if South Korea could think of joining the "Quad" (a multilateral platform comprising India, the US, Japan and Australia), she said, "Maybe in the future, but right now our military assets are focusing on our security in the peninsula, because our security in the peninsula is still very vulnerable". "I leave it to [the U.S. side] to brief you", she said.
"South Korea and the USA made the decision as we believe this will contribute to maintaining such momentum", defense ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said, as reported by The Associated Press. -South Korea exercises should also be cancelled due to their financial costs to the United States.
She spoke after the US and South Korea announced that the Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills slated for August have been called off.
The statement, however, did not include specifications as to how the two nations would reach denuclearization.
Russia and South Korea agreed in 2008 to lay gas pipelines through the North to bring Russian natural gas to the South. This year's exercise, which was planned for August, has been suspended, the Pentagon said on Monday.
Amid concerns over a potential U.S. retreat from its postwar role in the region's security architecture, Suga, Japan's top government spokesman, emphasized that the premise of the suspension is that North Korea engages in what U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called "productive, good-faith negotiations".
That led to a rare rapprochement between the two Koreas, the North's participation in the Games and ultimately the Singapore summit.
Seoul will also use the two-way or three-way communication channels established after the inter-Korean and the DPRK-U.S. summit "to push the agenda forward", she added.
Ultimately, the sight of North and South Korean players wearing the same jerseys drew emotive responses from spectators and the squad quickly became an Olympic favourite despite being thrashed in all its matches.
In contrast, the annual Ulchi is a weeklong emergency preparedness exercise supervised by the Ministry of Public Administration and Safety and has nothing to do with the US troops.
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