- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 4, 2018

Amid renewal of direct communications between North and South Korea, President Trump agreed with South Korea’s leader Thursday to keep up “the campaign of maximum pressure” against Pyongyang and its nuclear program.

The two leaders also agreed to postpone a major joint military exercise, Foal Eagle, that their nations hold each year until after the Winter Olympics, said Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning.

“The Department of Defense supports the president’s decision and what is in the best interest of the ROK-U.S. alliance,” Col. Manning said, referring to the U.S. defense treaty with the Republic of Korea.

In the phone call, Mr. Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed “to not repeat mistakes of the past,” the White House said in a reference to policies of previous administrations.

Earlier this week, Mr. Trump exchanged taunts with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over the size and capabilities of their respective nuclear arsenals.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Moon also discussed the Winter Olympics, which are set to begin next month in South Korea.

“The United States and the Republic of Korea are committed to a safe and successful 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang,” the White House said. “President Trump told President Moon that the United States will send a high-level delegation to the Olympics. The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the games.”

North and South Korea recently resumed operation of a phone hotline between the two nations, amid increasing tensions prompted by Pyongyang’s missile tests.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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