[Global Times correspondent Lin Ri, Global Times correspondent Jin Huizhen] The Korea-US joint military exercise of Key Decision (KR) and Vulture (FE) will become history! According to Yonhap News Agency on March 3, South Korean Defense Minister Zheng Jingdou and U.S. agent Nahan, Changsha, called on the evening of 2, and decided to stop the Korea-US joint military exercise codenamed Key Decision and Vulture from this year. South Koreas Defense Ministry said the move was aimed at helping denuclearized diplomacy. However, some media analysts believe that the decision of South Korea and the United States is related to US President Trumps previous statement that it is unfair to spend more than US$100 million annually on US-ROK performances.
The ROK and US defense ministers said that the two countriesadjustment of training and exercises is intended to provide support for diplomatic efforts aimed at easing tensions on the peninsula and achieving a final, complete and verifiable denuclearization of the peninsula. However, they also reiterated the importance of the two countriessecurity conventions and decided to maintain the joint defense posture in order to meet various security challenges. In the future, the two countries will maintain the military response posture through new joint command post exercises and field mobile training. South Koreas Defense Ministry also said that the defense ministers of the two countries believe that under the changing security situation on the peninsula, communication between South Korea and the United States should be smoother than ever before. In order to deepen the alliance and ensure peace and security on the peninsula, the two sides will meet in the near future to discuss cooperation programs.
However, Reuters quoted South Korean government sources on the 2nd day as saying that reducing the size of military exercises was finalized by South Korea and the United States as early as before the second Kings Meeting, and was one of the measures taken by South Korea and the United States to ease tensions with North Korea. According to an analysis by the South Korean news agency Newsis on February 23, Trump gave up the military exercises long ago, because the cost of each exercise was more than $100 million, at a press conference after the second Kings Meeting. I dont think its fair that South Korea should pay a part of the money to express its dissatisfaction publicly with the joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States. Its intention is to continue to put pressure on South Korea to make South Korea pay more when the 11th defense cost-sharing negotiation between South Korea and the United States (2020) is to be held in the first half of this year. According to the South Korean military, in the past five years, the average annual cost of joint military exercises between Korea and the United States is 70 billion to 80 billion won (about 58 million to 66 million US dollars), and the South Korean side shares part of it. Among them, the cost of a single B-1B bomber taking off from Guam to the Korean Peninsula is as high as 2 billion to 3 billion won, and the cost of F-22 and F-35 fighters per take-off is as high as 100 million to 200 million won.
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