17 June 2017

News Story: S. Korea may consult with U.S. about scaling back joint exercises if N.K. suspends nuclear activities - adviser

By Chang Jae-soon

WASHINGTON, June 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea may consult with the United States about scaling back joint military exercises and deployment of American strategic weapons if North Korea suspends nuclear and missile activities, an adviser to President Moon Jae-in said Friday.

Moon Chung-in, a foreign affairs scholar and special presidential adviser, made the remark during a Wilson Center seminar in Washington, saying President Moon has proposed the idea as part of an incremental solution to the nuclear standoff beginning with a freeze of the weapons programs.

"He proposed two things. One, if North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile activities, then we may consult with the United States to (on) scaling down ROK-US joint exercises and training. I think what he has in mind is we may scale down deployment of American strategic weapons over the Korean Peninsula," the adviser said.

"Another one is linking North Korea's denuclearization to creation of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. It is a much more complicated one. It could be much more complicated than the Iranian deal, but anyhow, he laid out those two guidelines to which he would pursue the denuclearization of North Korea," he said.

President Moon's idea is to seek an "incremental, comprehensive, and fundamental solution" to North Korean problem as he believes "ultimate denuclearization of North Korea will take much longer period, longer time, most likely not during his tenure if he understands the realistic constraints," the adviser said.

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