US Forces In South Korea 'Not Subject' To US-North Korea Talks


Mattis reaffirmed the ironclad U.S.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has discussed with his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, the future of their joint military drills after US president Donald Trump said that he would be suspending them.

Lim will move to Boston on Tuesday to participate in a seminar on regional security organized by South Korea's Consulate General there and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas technically still at war.

Presently, the White House, State and Defence Departments are planning on how to carry out Trump's decision through Pentagon's guidance, which was announced at the Singapore summit, as per CNN. Mattis left the door open to the issue being discussed down the road between Seoul and Washington if certain conditions were met.

After the 1950-53 Korean War, that was the fourth summit since the Korean Peninsula was divided.

However, according to CNN, a U.S. defense official said, no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises has been received, not even about the drill scheduled in August. -North Korea summit "jumpstarted" stalled negotiations on denuclearization and hoped South Korea would contribute to speeding up the process.

Trump's words have been interpreted by some as a concession to the North Korean regime in exchange for the promise of denuclearization.

"President Moon Jae-in has already stated his position with regard to Korea-US joint exercises, and the National Security Council said it's going to consult closely with the US based on that", the senior official was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying.

However, expectations of trade with North Korea have helped revive property prices in the Chinese city of Dandong, which borders North Korea.

"I don't really think President Trump gave away anything to North Korea", Moon told assembled media.