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Saturday, March 31, 2018

A truce: will it be possible?

Por sumily

The allied armies of the United States and South Korea, in general, used to start joint military maneuvers at the end of February or the beginning of March and then extend them for two months.

However, this year, South Korea asked the US to reschedule the maneuvers to avoid provoking North Korea before or during the Winter Olympics that hosted the Asian country and lead to a possible negotiation with the communist regime that finally came to fruition.Speaking to the France Press agency, the North Korea specialist of Dongguk University, Kim Yong-hyun, believes that both the South and the US will conduct a relatively discreet exercise in an attempt not to unnecessarily provoke the North in this state of rapprochement. 

It is really important not only for the North, but also for the US and the South, to put the situation under control during the exercises. In his view, all parties will try to spend the next few weeks as smoothly and quietly as possible.

This year the maneuvers could be shortened due to the climate of diplomatic rapprochement with North Korea, embodied in the possible meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un On April 1, the Allied Armies of the United States and South Korea will begin joint military maneuvers.

These exercises, which are carried out once a year, tend to provoke the wrath of North Korea, but this time they were postponed this year until the end of the Winter Olympics, because the one event served as a framework for a diplomatic approach with Pyongyang that culminated with the announcement of a future meeting between the American leader, Donald Trump, and the North Korean, Kim Jong-un.

According to the announcement made by the US Defense Department on Tuesday in a statement, the exercises will be on a scale similar to that of previous years, where there was the active participation of some 23,000 US troops and 300,000 South Koreans.Thus, a little less than ten days will begin the Foal Eagle operation, which involves a significant deployment of troops by land, sea and air. Later the Key Resolve maneuvers will begin, which include computer war simulation exercises. Both countries insist that the end of these exercises is strictly defensive and that they are based on a mutual defense agreement that the two allies reached in 1953 after the end of the Korean War.

Usually, for its part, North Korea has reacted with a sharpness of missiles included, to maneuvers that it considers as an invasion test of its territory. However, after a 2017 in which the tension in the region seemed to lead to a tragic end, the surprising diplomatic approach of recent weeks has served to cool the mood to the point that Kim Jong-un himself assured him the South Korean delegation with which met earlier this month in Pyongyang that could understand why the joint exercises should be resumed in April on the same scale as before.So did not tell the press, ChungEui-yong, South Korean National Security Adviser, who was also present at that meeting.

According to military sources in Washington and Seoul, the Armed Forces of North Korea are already informed of the timing and offensive nature of the maneuver, whose date has not been released although it is believed that they could end at the end of May. However, some South Korean media contemplated the possibility that this year the maneuvers will be reduced and end in late April, just before the meeting that will hold the presidents of the two Koreas, the first in the last eleven years.