US, South Korea to scale back Foal Eagle exercise this spring
WASHINGTON — The United States and South Korea will scale back their annual Foal Eagle exercise this spring to facilitate ongoing negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday.
“Foal Eagle is being reorganized a bit to keep it at a level that will not be harmful to diplomacy,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.
The two nations have canceled their last four scheduled large-scale training exercises on the Korean Peninsula to provide diplomats an opportunity to negotiate with North Korea. The North has long viewed such military training as provocative and a prelude to invasion. President Donald Trump unexpectedly ordered those large-scale exercises canceled in the wake of his June meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
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