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The United States and South Korea on Sunday announced that they are postponing a joint military air exercise criticized by North Korea as provocative in a bid to keep alive foundering nuclear talks with Pyongyang.

“After close consultation and careful consideration, Minister Jeong and I’ve jointly decided to postpone this month’s Combined Flying Training Event,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a joint news conference with his South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, on the sidelines of a regional security meeting in Bangkok.

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