US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo have canceled the “Vigilant Ace” military exercise that was slated for December, a Pentagon spokeswoman said today.

The two officials agreed to suspend the drill to “give the diplomatic process” with Pyongyang “every opportunity to continue,” spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement.

“Both ministers are committed to modifying training exercises to ensure the readiness of our forces,” the statement read, saying the need for future exercises would continue to be evaluated.

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