U.S., South Korea to Suspend Joint Air Drill Again, Yonhap Says

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(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and South Korea will suspend a planned air-power military drill for the second straight year to avoid increasing tensions with North Korea while denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang are stalled, Yonhap News reported, citing an unidentified official.

Vigilant Ace, the joint exercise scheduled for December, involves hundreds of aircraft including U.S. strategic bombers, the news agency said. Korean and American officials will make the final decision on the suspension when they meet in mid-November, Yonhap reported.

U.S., South Korea to Suspend Joint Air Drill Again, Yonhap Says

Both countries will instead have their respective drills independently “to confirm military readiness,” the official said in the report.

A South Korean government official said that the military should “continue to back up” diplomatic efforts to denuclearize North Korea, according to Yonhap.

North Korean and American officials met in Stockholm in October for their first direct nuclear negotiations in eight months but the talks broke down with a disagreement over what was discussed.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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