13
Tuesday
November 2018
11:38 PM IST
News Headlines
Preparing for Australia tour by watching videos: Shami        India invites Swedish companies to explore investment opportunities        Govt cancels ED officer Rajeshwar Singh's leave        175 dead, over 10,000 affected by Nigeria cholera outbreak        Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena        Delhi pollution: Task forces conducts meetings on WhatsApp for urgent decisions        PM slams Rahul, Sonia for questioning note ban; need no certificate from those on bail        70 per cent turnout in first phase of Chhattisgarh polls: EC        Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha attacks NDA ally Nitish Kumar amid reports of RLSP MLA joining JD(U)        Mining Baron Janardhana Reddy Remanded in Custody Till November 24 for 'Shielding' Ponzi Scam Accused Father-Son        Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California        "Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side        3rd T20: Dhawan, Pant take Ind to victory, series win        FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters 3-1 in ISL        One killed, several injured in stabbing attack in Melbourne: Police        Journalists beware: After Bloomberg bots, AI news presenter debuts in China        Harmanpreet Kaur’s record century headlines India’s big win over NZ in opener        Mumbai City end NorthEast United’s unbeaten run        Chelsea beat BATE 1-0 in Europa League        Srikanth enters pre-quarterfinals of China Open        
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International News
S Korea, US confirm suspending military drills
 
Seoul, Jun 19 (AFP) South Korean and US officials confirmed today the suspension of scheduled joint military drills, making good on a pledge by President Donald Trump during his summit with North Korea's leader.

Seoul, which has tens of thousands of US troops on its soil to help protect it from its hostile northern neighbour, said the suspension would affect the large-scale Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises slated for August.

"South Korea and the US plan to continue discussions for further measures," the South's defence ministry said in a statement, adding that "no decisions have been reached for other ensuing drills." Some 17,500 US military personnel were due to take part in the Freedom Guardian drills.

"We are still coordinating additional actions. No decisions on subsequent war games have been made," Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in confirming the suspension.

"There is no impact on Pacific exercises outside of the Korean Peninsula." White said US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton would meet later this week at the Pentagon to discuss the issue.

Last week, Trump made the surprise announcement that the US would halt "war games" with its South Korean security ally -- without making clear when the freeze would begin.

The US leader raised eyebrows by describing the exercises as "provocative" -- a term used by the North.

US and South Korean forces have been training together for years, and routinely rehearse everything from beach landings to an invasion from the North, or even "decapitation" strikes targeting the North Korean regime.

Pyongyang typically reacts furiously. Following drills last year, the North fired ballistic missiles over Japan, triggering global alarm.

Trump's decision raised concern in Japan, which hosts tens of thousands of US troops and has eyed the diplomatic outreach to Pyongyang with deep suspicion.

But officials were sanguine on the announcement today, with Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera saying Trump's move would not affect US-Japan exercises.

"In talks with Secretary Mattis, we confirmed that we will implement drills between Japan and the US," he told reporters.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono added that Tokyo understood the drills were being halted as a way to press Pyongyang to negotiate in good faith.

"I understand that if North Korea stops negotiating with good will, the joint drills will resume," he said.

Choi Hyun-soo, a South Korea defence ministry spokeswoman, added: "We are expecting a corresponding measure from North Korea in response to the suspension of the joint drills." At their landmark Singapore summit, Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un signed a joint statement in which Pyongyang committed to "work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula." But critics have pointed to the vague wording of the non-binding document and raised fears that the summit could weaken the international coalition against the North's nuclear programme.

Pompeo, who has stressed that sanctions will remain in place until North Korea's complete denuclearisation, said he plans to meet Kim for follow-up talks.

South Korea said sanctions against the North could be eased once it takes "substantive steps towards denuclearisation," seemingly setting the bar lower than Washington for such a move.

But Pompeo's office said both allies remain "committed to the goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.


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Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California
"Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side
One killed, several injured in stabbing attack in Melbourne: Police
Journalists beware: After Bloomberg bots, AI news presenter debuts in China
Russia says it thwarted drone attacks at World Cup
Pak PM Imran Khan wishes Hindu community on Diwali
UK opens up armed forces recruitment to more Indians
US midterms: Key factors that will drive verdict on 21 months of Trumpism
India, China Among 8 Countries Exempt From US Sanctions On Iran Oil
"Help Us Exit From Pakistan": Asia Bibi's Husband Asks Trump For Refuge
Sri Lanka's ousted PM says US, Japan freeze aid over political crisis
New Caledonia votes to remain French in referendum
Seven dead in attack on bus carrying Egyptian Christians
Prior approval required for bringing medicines to UAE? Ministry clarifies
Israel defends Trump amid synagogue shooting criticism
N Korea readying nuclear site for inspectors: S Korea report
Born in the USA? Trump could soon ensure that's not enough for citizenship
Supporters of former Sri Lanka PM protest against his sacking in Colombo, burn effigies of President Maithripala Sirisena
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
 Vaikom: Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalekshmi has tied knot with Anoop N. at Vaikom Mahadeva temple.  
Mohanlal's Odiyan: Official trailer launched
Mammootty narrates Odiyan's intro?
Sradha Kapoor as Saina Nehwal: First look poster is out.
KERALA NEWS
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
 Thiruvananthapuram, OCT 27: As the number of people arrested for allegedly being involved in violent
Vijayan urges UAE Keralites to back salary challenge
Sabarimala row: Protests against SC verdict continue
Balabhaskar's wife Lakshmi shifted to ICU
NATIONAL NEWS
Delhi pollution: Task forces conducts meetings on WhatsApp for urgent decisions
 New Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) What happens when air pollution levels in the national capital are 'severe'
PM slams Rahul, Sonia for questioning note ban; need no certificate from those on bail
Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha attacks NDA ally Nitish Kumar amid reports of RLSP MLA joining JD(U)
Mining Baron Janardhana Reddy Remanded in Custody Till November 24 for 'Shielding' Ponzi Scam Accused Father-Son
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