S. Korea Wants to Postpone Military Drills Until After Olympics
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday that next year's joint military exercises with the United States might be postponed until after the Olympics.
In an interview with NBC News, the South Korean leader said he had made the "suggestion to the U.S., and the U.S is currently reviewing (it)."
A presidential official in Seoul said the decision to delay the exercises would depend on North Korea avoiding any provocations during the Olympics. The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang in February.
President Moon said a lack of provocations during the games would help create an opportunity for talks between the two Koreas and between the United States and North Korea.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in Ottawa, Canada, on Tuesday he did not know of any plans to delay the regular military exercises.
Tillerson had earlier said the United States was prepared to hold unconditional peace talks with North Korea. But after being corrected by the White House, he explained that the North must first avoid additional provocations.
Is it wishful thinking?
In the last two years, North Korea has accelerated its missile and nuclear development program. Last month, the country's state media announced it had the ability to hit the U.S. mainland with an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The Moon administration calls the February games the "Olympics for Peace." Moon's government has been urging North Korea to take part, to both calm the region and encourage future talks.
Critics do not believe North Korea will change its actions in response to Moon's words.
David Straub is an analyst with the Sejong Institute in South Korea. He said, "all this focus on the Olympics as an opening for diplomacy and peace is very much wishful thinking."
The United States and South Korea regularly hold military exercises to prepare for possible conflict with the North. The exercises held in the spring involve about 17,000 U.S. troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans.
A delay in the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises could be seen as consideration toward China and Russia. The two powers proposed a suspension of the exercises in return for North Korea stopping further nuclear and missile tests.
Neither the U.S. nor South Korea have agreed to the Chinese and Russian proposal.
Delaying the joint drills could also help improve relations between South Korea and China. Relations between the countries have grown difficult over South Korea's deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system. China objects to the system's powerful radar that can potentially see far into its territory.
South trying to engage the North
Since taking office in May, Moon has tried to improve relations with the Kim Jong Un government while supporting strong economic sanctions against the North.
Straub said many in the Moon administration want to bring back the Sunshine Policy of the early 2000s. The policy provided unconditional aid to the North but failed to persuade the country to end its hostile behavior or nuclear program.
"The Sunshine Policy was supposed to be nice to the North Koreans in the hopes that eventually they would be nice to our side. And it is quite clear by what the North Koreans have done, especially in the past few years, that that is not their intention and not what they're going to do," he said.
North Korea has rejected past offers from the South for humanitarian aid and to host reunions for families separated by the division of the Korean Peninsula.
The North Korean Olympic Committee missed the Oct. 30 deadline to register for the winter games, but the International Olympic Committee has said it is still not too late. Two North Korean skaters are the country's only athletes to qualify for the winter games so far.
I'm Mario Ritter.
1.depend on 取决于
Needy and handicapped people depend on government relief for their support.
2.so far 目前
What have you found so far?
3.agreed to 赞成；同意
All the interested parties eventually agreed to the idea.
4.economic sanctions 经济制裁
The United States plans to tighten the economic sanctions currently in place.
5.The two powers proposed a suspension of the exercises in return for North Korea stopping further nuclear and missile tests.
in return for 作为...的回报
The deal offers an increase in policy value in return for giving up guarantees.
I'll sell at a discount in return for a speedy sale.
6.Straub said many in the Moon administration want to bring back the Sunshine Policy of the early 2000s.
bring back 恢复；回忆
Your article brought back sad memories for me.
The House of Commons is to debate once again whether to bring back the death penalty.
首尔一政府官员表示，推迟演习的决定是为了避免朝鲜在奥运会期间进行任何挑衅性行为 。2018年冬奥会将于2月在平昌举行 。
蒂勒森此前曾指出，美国准备与朝鲜举行无条件的和平会谈 。但在白宫方面澄清后，他改口称，首先朝鲜须停止进一步挑衅 。
朝鲜在过去的两年里加快了导弹和核发展项目 。上个月，朝鲜官方媒体宣称，该国已具备使用洲际导弹袭击美国大陆的能力 。
文在寅政府称二月的奥运会为“和平奥运” 。该政府一直敦促朝鲜参与赛事，借此缓和半岛局势并促进未来会谈 。
为应对可能与朝鲜发生的冲突，美国和韩国会定期举行联合军事演习 。今年春季举行的军演涉及1.7万名美军和30多万韩国士兵 。
推迟联合军事演习可能考虑到中国和俄罗斯的提议 。两国提议暂停演习，以换取朝鲜停止进一步的核试验和导弹试验 。
推迟联合演习有助于改善韩国和中国的关系 。两国关系因韩国部署萨德导弹防御系统愈发恶化 。
斯特劳布表示，文在寅政府的官员大多希望恢复21世纪初的“阳光政策” 。该政策虽然为朝鲜提供无条件的援助，但是未能说服朝鲜结束其敌对行为和核计划 。
他说：“‘阳光政策’初衷是为了造福朝鲜民众，希望他们最终‘报之以李’ 。但是朝鲜的所作所为，尤其是过去几年中的挑衅已经十分明显 。那不是他们的意图，也不是他们将要做的事情 。”