High-level inter-Korean talks to be held

North Korea has long been angered by joint military exercises between the two countries

North Korea has long been angered by joint military exercises between the two countries

In what could be seen as a gesture of goodwill leading up to anticipated talks between the USA and North Korea, an annual joint military exercise between American and South Korean military forces - which has been a long-time source of tension for the Hermit Kingdom - has been shortened by a full month. North Korea in 2017 tested its most powerful nuclear weapon to date and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles theoretically capable of striking the United States mainland.

The statement gave no end date for the exercises, and it is unclear whether USA aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines would participate as they have in previous war games. This, in turn, needed the Trump administration to enhance the effort to punish North Korea.

He indicated the lesson learned from the 1990s negotiations is that time should be spent on verifying how North Korea would freeze or scrap its nuclear program. He also offered to stop his missile and nuclear tests.

There is considerable skepticism about both sets of talks, with some analysts and conservative politicians noting that North Korea has reneged on every deal it has ever signed. -North Korea summit expected to be held by May. Trump surprised many by saying he would meet with Kim by May.

The announcement comes a day after South Korean President Moon Jae-in floated the possibility of another meeting - Washington, Pyongyang and Seoul, CNN reported.

Futures lower ahead of Fed meeting
Fears of a trade war have also weighed on commodity prices, though tensions in the Middle East supported oil prices on Wednesday. As a result shares in soybean exporter Archer-Daniels ( ADM.N ) fell 1 percent and Bunge ( BG.N ) dropped 0.7 percent.

North Korea had been silent on the proposed Trump-Kim summit since Trump agreed to the talks on March 8, 2018. In fact, his decision was guided by many factors.

North Korean state media have not yet directly mentioned the summits. As reports suggest, global sanctions, in turn, have resulted in North Korea facing a possible crisis of foreign cash.

Cho and Ri met at Panmunjom on January 9 to hold the two Koreas' first formal talks in more than two years to discuss the North's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and ways to improve bilateral ties. The other drill, known as Key Resolve, is a computer-simulated command post exercise and is scheduled to start around the middle of April for a usual two-week run, the South Korean official said. Trump said in early March he would meet with Kim by May to discuss denuclearization by the isolated nation.

Only time will tell to what extent the unpredictable personality of Trump and Kim succeeded to reduce the tension between the two sides or this proved to be yet another lost opportunity to promote peace and security in the Korean peninsula.

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