Thanks to President Donald Trump North Korea won’t object to joint military exercises between South Korea and US.
The United States and South Korea began their joint military training exercises Sunday as diplomatic relations have been thawing on the Korean Peninsula, according to the South Korean defense ministry.
The planned drills, known as Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, take place before the April 27 summit between North and South Korea and ahead of a meeting with President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expected in May.
More than 11,500 U.S. troops and nearly 300,000 South Korean forces will take part in the four-week exercises. Foal Eagle, the largest annual joint military exercise in South Korea, usually runs about two months. Its start was delayed this year at the request of South Korea until after the Winter Olympics.
North Korea has consistently protested the annual joint exercises as a military provocation, even though the U.S. stresses the drills are for defensive purposes. During last year’s joint exercises, North Korea launched several medium-range ballistic missiles that splashed down off the coast of Japan.