U.S., South Korea marines hold small-scale exercise ahead of North Koreatalks

Clay Curtis
November 7, 2018

The United States and South Korea have resumed some military exercises just days ahead of a high-profile meeting focused on denuclearisation between U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials.

South Korea and the United States on Monday resumed small-scale military training that was indefinitely suspended following an historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In Washington last week, South Korea's defense minister said Washington and Seoul would make a decision by December on major joint military exercises for 2019.

North Korea is making arrangements to send a senior Foreign Ministry official in charge of negotiations with the United States to NY this week, a source close to the matter said Monday.

In its response Sunday, the North's Korean Association for Human Rights Studies said the "preposterous" report was "a part of political scheme fabricated by the hostile forces.to tarnish the image of the DPRK", the state Korean Central News Agency reported, using the country's official acronym. Pompeo did not provide the location and date for the meeting, which will likely be focused on persuading North Korea to take firmer steps toward denuclearization and setting up a second summit between their leaders.

Hours after the statement was released, satellite imagery seen by 38 North suggested that North Korea is continuing uranium mining and milling operations at one of the country's largest declared uranium ore concentrate facilities. North Korea has not tested a ballistic missile or nuclear weapon for almost a year, and has said it has shuttered its main nuclear test site and plans to dismantle several more facilities.

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"We're continuing to negotiate with the North Koreans to achieve ... the full denuclearization verified by the United States of the Korean peninsula", he added.

"We believe we should look for mechanisms that would allow us to continue developing cooperation with our partners, with Iran", Mr. Novak said in an interview with the Financial Times.

American officials have remained sceptical of Kim's commitment to giving up his nuclear arsenal, however, and Washington says it will not support easing worldwide sanctions until more verified progress is made.

North Korea has denied responsibility for the attack that killed 46 seamen.

Since North Korea halted nuclear testing and has made substantial diplomatic progress, many nations have advocated for some early sanctions relief, but so far every such effort has been blocked by the US.

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