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Monday
July 2018
5:13 AM IST
News Headlines
Congress to set up group on alliances: Rahul        Prepare To Fight 2019 Alone, Amit Shah Tells BJP On Rift With Shiv Sena        Money laundering scam: Zardari declared absconder by FIA        Afghan vice president Dostum escapes blast on return from exile        Sri Lanka close in on whitewash of S. Africa        Hamilton regains title lead after stunning German win        Fakhar Zaman becomes first Pakistani to hit ODI double ton        Govt slashes GST rate on several products        Third party insurance for two, four-wheeler be made mandatory: Supreme Court        Supreme Court stays Madras HC order awarding extra marks to NEET Tamil candidates        Trump invites Putin to White House in the fall        Zimbabwe vs Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman scores double century in record partnership with Imam-ul-Haq to breeze past hosts        Modi Govt Gets AIADMK Boost as No-Trust Vote Turns Into Show of Strength for 2019        IOC adds 7 medal events to 2022 Beijing Winter Games program        Indian outplay New Zealand 4-2 in hockey series opener        Samsung, Xiaomi corner 60 pc share of India's smartphone mkt in Q2: Canalys        Indo-Pacific must be free, open and and inclusive region: Swaraj        Indian man shot dead in Canada, two suspects arrested        Trump says looking forward to 'second meeting' with Putin        Mob-lynching cases: Govt asks WhatsApp for solutions beyond labelling forwards        
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International News
S Korea, US confirm suspending military drills
 
Seoul, Jun 19 (AFP) South Korean and US officials confirmed today the suspension of scheduled joint military drills, making good on a pledge by President Donald Trump during his summit with North Korea's leader.

Seoul, which has tens of thousands of US troops on its soil to help protect it from its hostile northern neighbour, said the suspension would affect the large-scale Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises slated for August.

"South Korea and the US plan to continue discussions for further measures," the South's defence ministry said in a statement, adding that "no decisions have been reached for other ensuing drills." Some 17,500 US military personnel were due to take part in the Freedom Guardian drills.

"We are still coordinating additional actions. No decisions on subsequent war games have been made," Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in confirming the suspension.

"There is no impact on Pacific exercises outside of the Korean Peninsula." White said US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton would meet later this week at the Pentagon to discuss the issue.

Last week, Trump made the surprise announcement that the US would halt "war games" with its South Korean security ally -- without making clear when the freeze would begin.

The US leader raised eyebrows by describing the exercises as "provocative" -- a term used by the North.

US and South Korean forces have been training together for years, and routinely rehearse everything from beach landings to an invasion from the North, or even "decapitation" strikes targeting the North Korean regime.

Pyongyang typically reacts furiously. Following drills last year, the North fired ballistic missiles over Japan, triggering global alarm.

Trump's decision raised concern in Japan, which hosts tens of thousands of US troops and has eyed the diplomatic outreach to Pyongyang with deep suspicion.

But officials were sanguine on the announcement today, with Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera saying Trump's move would not affect US-Japan exercises.

"In talks with Secretary Mattis, we confirmed that we will implement drills between Japan and the US," he told reporters.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono added that Tokyo understood the drills were being halted as a way to press Pyongyang to negotiate in good faith.

"I understand that if North Korea stops negotiating with good will, the joint drills will resume," he said.

Choi Hyun-soo, a South Korea defence ministry spokeswoman, added: "We are expecting a corresponding measure from North Korea in response to the suspension of the joint drills." At their landmark Singapore summit, Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un signed a joint statement in which Pyongyang committed to "work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula." But critics have pointed to the vague wording of the non-binding document and raised fears that the summit could weaken the international coalition against the North's nuclear programme.

Pompeo, who has stressed that sanctions will remain in place until North Korea's complete denuclearisation, said he plans to meet Kim for follow-up talks.

South Korea said sanctions against the North could be eased once it takes "substantive steps towards denuclearisation," seemingly setting the bar lower than Washington for such a move.

But Pompeo's office said both allies remain "committed to the goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.


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Trump says looking forward to 'second meeting' with Putin
'Not too late to save Brexit': ex-foreign secretary Johnson
Canada: Trudeau set to reshuffle govt ahead of 2019 election
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Merkel fires back at Trump: Germany makes 'independent decisions'
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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
I am a big flop actor: Karan Johar
 (Mumbai, May 5, 2018): Filmmaker Karan Johar is in mood to take up full-fledged acting jobs.  
Bittersweet moment for us: Akshaye on Vinod Khanna's Dadasaheb Phalke honour
Happy Sonam is getting married, Anand a great guy: Harshvardhan Kapoor
Auctioning 'Rustom' costume for good cause: Akshay Kumar
KERALA NEWS
Kerala among 13 states on thunderstorm alert
 (New Delhi, May 7, 2018): Thunderstorms accompanied by squall, hail and heavy rains are likel
Kerala Karshaka Jadha Opens to a Great Beginning / Video
Malappuram press club attack: RSS workers nabbed
Workers injured in mudslide at construction site
NATIONAL NEWS
Prepare To Fight 2019 Alone, Amit Shah Tells BJP On Rift With Shiv Sena
 (Mumbai, July 22, 2018):BJP president Amit Shah told party workers in Mumbai today that they
Supreme Court stays Madras HC order awarding extra marks to NEET Tamil candidates
Mob-lynching cases: Govt asks WhatsApp for solutions beyond labelling forwards
Unidentified 'intruder' killed at Indo-Pak border: official
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