Diplomatic efforts promoted with DPR Korea

Monday, 2019-11-18 09:43:39
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US Defence Secretary Mark Esper (L) and Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo hold a joint news conference after the 51st Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) at the Defence Ministry in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, on November 15, 2019. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
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NDO – On November 17, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the US decided to postpone joint air exercise operations next winter, in order to boost current diplomatic efforts with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as reported by Reuters.

The statement was made by Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and US Defence Secretary Mark Esper on the sidelines of the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM+) in Bangkok, Thailand. According to the US Secretary of Defence, this move is not a concession, but a goodwill effort to enable peace.

★ The US and the ROK have scheduled to conduct joint air exercises later this month. Known as the Combined Flying Training Event, they will be a miniature version of winter drills. However, the DPRK criticised these exercise plans and warned of a "greater threat" to the US should the drills go ahead as planned.

★ Meanwhile, the US has left open the possibility of adjusting its upcoming exercise plan with the ROK based on conditions conducive to diplomatic efforts. US Defence Secretary Esper stressed that the US and the ROK remain flexible in providing ways to support diplomatic efforts with Pyongyang, so the two countries did not close any doors that would facilitate the progress on the diplomatic front.