Joint US-South Korean military exercises set to continue after delay for Winter Olympics

Joint military drills between the US and South Korea – put on hold for the Winter Olympics – are back on and set to take place on April 1.

Both countries said in a statement that the the “Foal Eagle and Key Resolve” drills would restart and last for four weeks.

This year’s drills were postponed during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which saw rare co-operative steps between North and South Korea.

But the joint US-South Korea drills often infuriate North Korea, which often conducts weapons tests in protest.

After post-Olympics talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, South Korean officials said he indicated he would accept the drills.

Talks – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is expected to hold talks with Donald Trump (Pictures: AP)

However, the exercises are expected to be more low-key than past years ahead of two highly anticipated summits among the countries’ leaders.

Kim Jong-un is due to meet with US President Donald Trump to discuss giving up his nuclear weapons and is also set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in.


In a statement on the joint exercises, the Pentagon said defence secretary Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, agreed to go forward with the two sets of exercises “at a scale similar to” that of previous years.

It said North Korea had been notified of the schedule “as well as the defensive nature” of the exercises.

Statement – the Pentagon said the exercises would go ahead at a scale similar to previous years

Despite the statement saying the scale would be similar to previous years, field training drill Foal Eaglewill last about four weeks, compared with its typical two-month run, while computer-simulated command post exercise Key Resolve is scheduled to start around the middle of April for a usual two-week run.