US, South Korea start low-key joint military drills after North Korean missile tests
SEOUL, South Korea — The United States and South Korea began joint military exercises on Monday but kept them low-key to avoid provoking North Korea, which has warned the drills could derail efforts to resume nuclear negotiations.
The allies declined to officially announce the two-week exercise had begun or provide details, but several officials confirmed they were underway.
The quiet start was in sharp contrast to past years, underscoring the desire of Seoul and Washington to get talks with the communist state back on track.
North Korea, however, has continued to criticize the drills despite the changes and has conducted several short-range ballistic missile tests over the past two weeks in what was widely seen as a protest.
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