The Trump administration has agreed to have the joint military exercise in South Korea delayed until the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are over which has made it easier for the two countries to solve their issues with diplomacy and drop their hard lines. The governments from both North Korea and South Korea hours later committed to cooperate ahead of the Winter Olympics. The setting up of a communication line between North and South Korea which would see the two countries in the Korean Peninsula hold their first formal dialogue in 24 months was a clear sign that the tension was now easing.
In the recent months, there has been a lot of animosity between Pyongyang and Seoul with Washington pressuring Kim Jong Un to abandon his nuclear missile program. On Tuesday, South Korea offered an offer for a meeting with North Korean officials at the border village of Panmunjom to discuss how their ties would be improved and on their cooperation during the Winter Olympics. This was according to reports that were released by the Ministry of Unification in Seoul. Jim Mattis, the US secretary of defense, said that it was practical to delay the scheduled joint military exercises that were to be conducted by both the United States military and South Korean troops.
Mattis said that the move was not a political gesture but was meant to accommodate the winter Olympics. The Defense Secretary noted that there was a broad array of transportation and logistics support that was needed to host the Winter Olympics in the Korean peninsula, and the military exercises would tie up some of these activities that are vital in supporting such a world event. The White House has released a statement that said that President Trump had agreed to postpone the scheduled joint military exercises with their South Korean counterparts. The move was decided after deliberations between Washington and Moon Jae-In, the President of South Korea. The report also cited that the move to delay the joint military exercises would give an opportunity to South Korean and American forces to secure the Winter Olympics.
Soldiers conduct the joint military exercises popularly known as Foal Eagle from South Korean and the United States in the months between February and April of every year. On the other hand, Pyongyang strongly objects to the annual military exercises as a way of rehearsing for an invasion of the South. There have also been fears that Pyongyang would interfere with the Olympics which are being held only 50 kilometers south of the 38th parallel.