World: North Korea tensions: South urges U.S. to delay military drills ahead of Olympics - PressFrom - US
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World North Korea tensions: South urges U.S. to delay military drills ahead of Olympics

02:35  20 december  2017
02:35  20 december  2017 Source:   nbcnews.com

North Korean Submarine Missile Threat Prompts U.S.-Led Military Drills

  North Korean Submarine Missile Threat Prompts U.S.-Led Military Drills Amid fears that North Korea is rapidly developing its submarine-launched ballistic missile technology, the United States, Japan and South Korea are teaming up for a drill to track such hard-to-detect missiles, military officials said Monday.The drill is taking place over two days in waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and will involve destroyers from the three nations doing computer-simulated training to track submarine missile launchings by North Korea.

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is pushing the U . S . to postpone joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics as an olive branch to North Korea , a move the administration is considering, the South ' s president told NBC News on Tuesday. President Moon Jae-in said in an exclusive

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is pushing the U . S . to postpone joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics as an olive branch to North Korea , a move the administration is considering, the South ' s president told NBC News on Tuesday. President Moon Jae-in said in an exclusive

South Korean and U.S. Marines take part in a winter military drill in Pyeongchang, South Korea, December 19, 2017. © REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji South Korean and U.S. Marines take part in a winter military drill in Pyeongchang, South Korea, December 19, 2017.

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is pushing the U.S. to postpone joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics as an olive branch to North Korea, a move the administration is considering, the South's president told NBC News on Tuesday.

President Moon Jae-in said in an exclusive sit-down interview that drills could be pushed back if Pyongyang also shows willingness to pause its nuclear and missile tests before the Winter Games in February.

"If North Korea stops its provocations leading up to the Pyeongchang Olympics, it will greatly help in holding a safe Olympics," he said. "Also, it will help in creating conducive atmosphere towards inter-Korean as well as U.S.-North Korean dialogue."

Russian military chief criticizes U.S., Japan and South Korea drills

  Russian military chief criticizes U.S., Japan and South Korea drills Russia's military chief warned on Monday that military exercises by Japan, the United States and South Korea aimed at countering North Korea only raise hysteria and create more instability in the region. Russian Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces General Valery Gerasimov, issued his warning in Tokyo as the United States, Japan and South Korea began a two-day exercise to practice tracking missiles amid rising tension over North Korea's weapons programs.

The US and South Korea are conducting annual military drills which consistently infuriate Pyongyang, despite appeals to halt the exercise. Last week North Korea appeared to back down from a threat to send missiles towards the US Pacific island of Guam, but said it would watch US actions.

Related: North Korea tensions : South urges U . S . to delay military drills ahead of Olympics . With Seoul just 30 miles away from the Korean border, any war would almost certainly result in catastrophic civilian casualties . Confusing matters further, Trump and his team often seem to be reading from

The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, 110 miles east of Seoul, from Feb. 9 to Feb. 25, followed by the Paralympics Games from March 9 to March 18.

"It is possible for South Korea and the U.S. to review the possibility of postponing the drill," Moon said. "I have made such suggestion to the U.S., and the U.S is currently reviewing."

"It all this depends on how North Korea behaves," he added.

The U.S. and South Korea frequently hold military exercises to test their readiness should a conflict break out with North Korea. The biggest are held each spring — known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle — involving about 17,000 U.S. troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans.

The North has offered to freeze its nuclear and missile programs in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea halting these drills, which it sees as a rehearsal for an invasion. Russia and China also back what they call a "dual suspension" solution to the standoff.

South Korea conducts anti-terror drills ahead of Winter Games

  South Korea conducts anti-terror drills ahead of Winter Games Set to host the Winter Olympics in February, South Korea conducted a series of security drills to prepare against terror attacks.Police and firemen were among around 420 personnel participating in the exercise, held in front of the Olympic Stadium at Pyeongchang, just 80 km (50 miles) from the heavily fortified border with North Korea.

North Korea did not immediately respond to South Korea ’ s invitation. But the Unification Ministry They followed a period of escalating tensions during which South Korean soldiers were injured by Ahead of the Games, Moon has asked the U . S . to delay annual military drills with South Korea

South Korea proposed delaying joint military exercises in an attempt to ease tensions with the North during the Olympics . South Korean and U . S . soldiers take part in a March 2017 landing exercise. If a conventional war broke out with North Korea , casualties in the first days of fighting could reach 300

In November, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that the country was considering postponing the drills.

Ensuring that the Games take place without interruption from North Korea is a primary concern for the South.

It has invested heavily in infrastructure, building a high-speed train from the Seoul airport to the Olympics site at a cost of $3.4 billion. The Moon interview with NBC News was conducted aboard the train.

It has also bolstered security for the event. Seoul plans to deploy around 5,000 troops, double the number at the 2002 World Cup. It has ratcheted up cybersecurity to ward off hacking attempts.

Moon sought to allay any fears Tuesday, telling NBC News that "there's no reason to be concerned about the safety, and as the president of the Republic of Korea I assure you that."

He added: "I hope that this Olympics will be able to promote the peace between the North and South Korea and become an Olympics for peace."

South Korea, U.S.conduct exercises for removing North Korea weapons: report

  South Korea, U.S.conduct exercises for removing North Korea weapons: report The United States and South Korea last week reportedly held joint drills to prepare for a potential military conflict in which they would penetrate and remove the North’s weapons of mass destruction. Yonhap News reported that the drills, called "Warrior Strike," were held at Camp Stanley, north of the capital city of Seoul.Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, who commands U.S. Forces Korea, and South Korea's chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Jung Kyung-doo, visited Camp Stanley, theU.S. 2nd Infantry Division wrote on Facebook Friday.

South Korea is urging the US to postpone their next round of joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics to avoid provoking North Korea President Moon Jae-in told NBC News that the drills could be delayed if Pyongyang also shows willingness to pause its nuclear and missile tests

On Tuesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he was willing to ease tensions ahead of next year’ s Winter Olympics in South Korea by delaying joint China routinely says it is meeting its U .N. obligations on North Korea and has urged “all sides” to pursue dialogue. The U . S . Navy’ s top officer

Ticket sales have been disappointing in the lead up to the Games, with only a third of the 1.1 million available sold as of mid-November. Nearly 80 percent of the tickets allocated to South Koreans were still available.

This year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un conducted his most powerful nuclear test to date, as well as his first three intercontinental ballistic missile launches — the last of which Pyongyang claimed could reach anywhere in the U.S.

For a moment it appeared that security concerns might keep athletes away. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., initially indicated that whether American athletes would participate was undecided, calling it an "open question." Soon after the White House stated that U.S. athletes would attend.

Moon downplayed concerns about Olympics security in the interview with NBC News and expressed his wish to see North Korea participate. It remains unclear whether any North Korean athletes will do so, though two figure skaters have qualified.

Moon assumed the presidency in May, after a bribery scandal felled his predecessor, Park Geun-hye. The left-leaning Moon has emerged as a levelheaded pragmatist, despite heated sparring and mounting nuclear tensions between the U.S. and North Korea in recent months.

Elected on a promise to engage in dialogue with North Korea, his first few months in office have been eventful ones.

He quickly found himself at odds with the Trump administration's more hawkish approach toward the North. He has also faced trade-related criticism from Trump, who complains bitterly of the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea.

Trump has responded to North Korea's missile and nuclear tests by threatening to reign "fire and fury" and to "totally destroy" the country.

Moon has taken a different tack, ruling out any offensive military action as "unthinkable," an approach Trump called "appeasement" on Twitter.

Though Trump has disparaged negotiations with the North as "wasting time," he seemed to put more faith in dialogue after a November visit to South Korea. Kim would do best to "come to the table and to make a deal," he said. Relations warmed between Moon and Trump after that visit.

10 Facts About Kim Jong Un's Rogue Nation .
North Korea spent about $3.5 billion every year on military expenditures from 2004 to 2014. 5. A North Korea nuclear attack could result in 2.1 million deaths in Tokyo and Seoul alone.6. North Korea's military has about 1,300 aircraft and nearly 300 helicopters.7. Kim's military also has 430 combatant vessels, 70 submarines, 4,300 tanks and 5,500 multiple-rocket launchers.8. There are about 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, making them especially vulnerable to a North Korean attack.9.

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