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A joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States has been postponed indefinitely. The exercise, which entailed military drills commonly referred to as the Combined Flying Training Event, was scheduled to begin in a few days.

However, this will not be the case according to the announcement made by Mark Esper. The US Defense Secretary was speaking in Bangkok during a defense ministers’ conference, where his South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo was in attendance.

The postponement was “a good-faith effort” to reinforce a stalled peace push

The joint exercise had come under heavy criticism from North Korea, which seemed not ready to reciprocate. Despite the criticism, Esper insisted that the delay of the exercise was aimed at cultivating peace and enhance a political agreement. He denied the speculation, which indicated that the move was a concession to North Korea.

Instead, Esper told reporters, “I don’t see this as a concession. I see this as a good faith effort … to enable peace… that leads to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

Seemingly, North Korean seems not to recognize the good-will efforts. According to the North Korean foreign ministry, the country has no intention of discussing its nuclear programs. This statement comes just before talks on the same can resume. It has, however, given a condition for the US to remove its “hostile” strategies against Pyongyang, citing that this would be a platform for improving relations.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has further stated that Washington has not demonstrated genuineness in the impending talks. This was tagged on the latest UN resolution on human rights.

The UN condemnation of human rights is a product of U.S. “hostile policy.” This is according to Pyongyang. The resolution has also been described as a U.S. political provocation. Meanwhile, Esper has continued to urge North Korea to take the gesture positively while emphasizing on the need to return to the discussing table.

On the other hand, Taro Kono, the Japanese Defense Minister, has sent a word of caution to the three nations citing that there is no optimism about North Korea.