US, South Korea marines hold small-scale exercise ahead of North Korea talks

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The resumption in military drills comes just days before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to hold talks with his North Korean counterpart on denuclearisation and plans for a second summit between their leaders.

The Korean Marine Exchange Program was among the training drills indefinitely suspended in June after U.S. President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore and promised to end joint, U.S.

North Korea's foreign ministry warned earlier in the week that Pyongyang will "seriously" consider reviving its nuclear weapons program unless USA sanctions are lifted.

Seoul's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo said that the allies plan to make a decision on plans for next year's major exercises before December 1.

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On Friday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry threatened to restart its nuclear weapons program if the us failed to ease economic sanctions.

Pompeo added that he wants to see substantial steps towards denuclearization as they prepare for the summit. Though this is meant to be understood as nuclear disarmament, some in North Korea have been increasingly vocal in fearing that the U.S. will never deliver on anything once they've already gotten what they want.

North Korea has not tested a ballistic missile or nuclear weapon for almost a year, and has said it closed its main nuclear test site and plans to dismantle several more facilities.

"The US thinks that its oft-repeated "sanctions and pressure" leads to 'denuclearisation.' We can not help laughing at such a foolish idea", it said.

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About 100 South Koreans, including Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun, will cross the heavily fortified border into North Korea on November 18 for the ceremony before returning home the next day, Hyundai Asan spokesman Lee Jae-hee said. There have been no nuclear tests.

"The improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible", a foreign ministry official said according to the state-run Korean Central New Agency.

But South Korea's enthusiasm for engagement with its rival has also created discomfort in the United States amid growing concerns that the North is dragging its feet with its promise to denuclearize.

"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.

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Trump has often pointed to the detente with North Korea - the subject of saber-rattling rhetoric and soaring tensions early in his term - as a signature foreign policy accomplishment.

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