South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump have agreed not to conduct the joint war games between Seoul and Washington during the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympic Games slated to kick off in February, Moon's office said Thursday.
Moon and Trump had a telephone conversation for about 30 minutes earlier in the day, discussing issues of mutual concern relating to a possible inter-Korean talks created by taking the opportunity for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to the presidential Blue House.
During the phone conversation, Moon and Trump agreed not to stage the South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises, codenamed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, according to the Blue House.
The two leaders agreed to make best efforts to hold a successful, safe PyeongChang Winter Olympic, Yoon Young-chan, senior press secretary for President Moon, said in a written briefing.
The agreement came amid the rising signs of a thaw between the two Koreas, caused by the peace overture which top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un made in his New Year speech.
During the phone dialogue, Moon said South Korea will closely cooperate with the United States while having inter-Korean talks, stressing that inter-Korean talks would certainly help create an atmosphere for dialogue between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.
Kim said in his New Year's Day address that his country was willing to participate in the South Korea-hosted winter sports event and to talk with Seoul about the participation.
On the following day, Seoul offered to Pyongyang holding a senior-level, inter-governmental dialogue on Jan. 9 at the Peace House in the truce village of Panmunjom, which straddles the heavily guarded inter-Korean land border.