What is the significance of postponing joint US-SKorean military drills during PyeongChang 2018?
It is a sign of strength and readiness for action: the US and South Korea have the confidence in their joint ability without need at this time for another routine drill.
Russia and China for months have called for a double freeze: the US and South Korea to suspend joint military exercises and North Korea to suspend further work on its nuclear military program. This is not persuasive to the US.
Note: “postponing” the drills is not the same as suspending them.
· Postponing is a tactical decision apparently with deference to South Korean President Moon and shows a regard for the Olympic Truce.
· Postponing further motivates the North to the table on Tuesday with the South after two years’ silence.
· Meanwhile, China and Russia have continued their joint military exercises in the region and will likely continue to do so.
The world welcomes this gesture of postponement. Because PyeongChang 2018, like Games before, is already exciting our better instincts to set aside difficulties and to look at fair play as an example for international cooperation – even if for only a few weeks.