WASHINGTON, March 2 (Xinhua) -- The United States and South Korea have decided to "conclude" the Key Resolve and the Foal Eagle series of exercises, the Pentagon said on Saturday.
U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and his South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo have made clear in a phone call earlier on Saturday that "the Alliance decision to adapt our training program reflected our desire to reduce tension and support our diplomatic efforts to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a final, fully verified manner," the Pentagon said in a statement.
The two military leaders "approved the Alliance decisions recommended by the Commander of U.S. Forces Korea and the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff on the combined exercise and training program," said the statement.
Nevertheless, the two sides "reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the continued combined defense posture of U.S.-ROK combined forces to meet any security challenge, and agreed to maintain firm military readiness through newly designed Command Post exercises and revised field training programs," the statement added.
U.S. media reported on Friday that the United States and South Korea would downgrade the two large-scale joint military exercises this spring.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has denounced the war games as a dress rehearsal for northward invasion. U.S. President Donald Trump also said that the drills were "very expensive" and "provocative ... war games."