South Korea is an ally of the US and the two countries have been conducting joint military exercises to ensure that their forces are battle ready at all times. North Korea has always viewed these as acts of hostility. After the first summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore, these were suspended. It was a unilateral decision by the US President, probably intended as an initial step to ease tensions.

NBC News reports the U.S.

military wants to extend the suspension and make it total. This will mean an end to the annual joint military exercises that South Korea and the United States conduct every spring. Training is necessary to keep the men fighting fit but instead of the large-scale exercises, these will now be smaller mission-specific ones. U.S. defense officials reveal this. This development follows the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi that fizzled out. Suspension of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises can be interpreted as confidence building measures.

Joint military exercises lose priority

Ever since Donald Trump came at the helm, he has been critical of these military exercises.

He branded them costly and complained that “the U.S. bears too much of the financial burden.” However, the fact remains that South Korea is an ally of the US in the Korean peninsula and personnel from both sides need to be tuned to the same frequency in order to be battle-ready at all times. This translates into exhaustive training that includes familiarity with the latest technologies in warfare. The objective is to deter the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and it now appears that it is possible to replace major exercises with smaller ones.

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NBC News goes on to add that there is a difference in opinion among some of the experts but the fact remains that scenarios keep changing and it is necessary to modify strategies to cater to the changes. The authorities have said that the decision to scrap the military drills had no link to the sudden stoppage of the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi. Trump believes these annual activities were "very, very expensive" and he feels Seoul should finance them.

The revised strategy could pay dividends

The World News adds that Key Resolve and Foal Eagle are the two major joint military exercises that South Korea and the US have been conducting regularly. These include thousands of ground, naval, air and special operations troops from both nations who join to get firsthand experience of war situations. Some see the suspension of these exercises as an initiative of President Donald Trump who is keen to maintain the truce he has struck with Kim Jong-un.

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