North Korea reportedly agrees to hold summit preparation talks in March

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The summit also comes ahead of the face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North's Kim that is expected to take place by the end of May to work out a deal to end the North's nuclear weapons' deal.

About 28,500 US servicemembers are stationed in South Korea.

The rivals agreed to a summit in late April when Mr Moon's envoys visited Mr Kim in Pyongyang earlier this month.

The North on Saturday accepted the South's proposal to meet at Panmunjom, the Unification Ministry statement said. In 2017, Pyongyang carried out the sixth powerful nuclear test and also the test of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) that some experts believe has the capacity to hit all parts of the US.

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It went on to say that Bolton, in particular, believes the United States can do what it wants without regard to worldwide law, treaties or the political commitments of previous administrations.

But the messaging and a shortened timetable suggest the annual drills will be kept low-key to avoid provoking the North Koreans as delicate diplomacy is underway. Seoul and Washington said that the exercises would begin on April 1 but will last a month rather than their usual seven or eight weeks.

President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un plan to hold a meeting in late April, the third summit, after meetings in 2000 and 2007. "Now it's a dialogue mode so they are trying to keep pace with that", said Choi Kang, vice president of Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

On Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, told media outlets that Foal Eagle and Key Resolve would be of the "same scale, scope and duration as previous years".

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Following a period of heightened tensions stoked by the North's nuclear and missile tests past year, a rapid rapprochement has been underway on the Korean peninsula.

The computer-simulated Key Resolve will involve about 12,200 Americans and 10,000 South Korean military personnel, he said.

He said diplomats should thoroughly prepare for a summit so leaders can issue a joint statement. -North Korea talks would be what nuclear disarmament steps Kim would promise in return for what concessions from the United States and whether Trump would accept them.

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