WASHINGTON — The United States and South Korea will resume their annual joint military exercises on April 1, the Pentagon announced Monday, restarting drills that have aroused the ire of North Korea and were suspended during the Olympics and Paralympics.
Washington and Seoul had agreed to delay the drills after South and North Korea announced they were beginning a diplomatic rapprochement, with the North sending a delegation to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The exercises, code-named Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, will involve some 23,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Korean troops. The scale this year is similar to previous years, Defense Department officials said.
South Korean officials have told reporters that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, who is expected to meet with President Trump in May about the North’s nuclear program, has appeared unexpectedly flexible about the exercises this year. During previous drills, Mr. Kim has conducted multiple missile tests.
But during talks with the South last month, Mr. Kim said that “he could understand why the joint exercises must resume in April on the same scale as before,” Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s national security adviser, said this month.
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