By Angela Dewan
US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have agreed not to hold joint military drills during the Winter Olympic Games in February, Korea’s presidential office said Thursday.
In a phone call on Thursday, Trump and Moon “agreed not to host joint military drills during the period of Pyeongchang Olympics” in South Korea, the Blue House in Seoul said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has long bemoaned the joint US-South Korean drills and has often called them a direct threat to Pyongyang.
The decision was announced a day after contact between the two Koreas was initiated in a major diplomatic breakthrough after months of high tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
That breakthrough followed Kim’s expressed hope in his New Year’s Day address that his country might participate in the Olympics.
“America supports President Moon 100%,” Trump said to Moon during the 30-minute phone call, according to the statement from Blue House. “Let me know anytime if you need our help in the process of inter-Korean communication.”
Moon replied, saying that South Korea would work closely with the US in communicating with North Korea.
“We are certain that inter-Korean communication will help to set the mood for a conversation between the US and North Korea to resolve nuclear issues.”
North Korea ratcheted up its missile testing last year, and also carried out a powerful nuclear test in September that prompted fresh sanctions on the country.
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