Foal Eagle is an annual, bilateral training exercise designed to enhance the readiness of South Korean and U.S. forces, and their ability to work together during a crisis. File Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Charles E. White.
SEOUL, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The delayed joint military drills between South Korea and the United States are likely to take place during the first week of April, according to South Korean President Moon Jae-in's top adviser on North Korea.
At a seminar in Washington D.C., Moon Jung-in on Tuesday said it would be "very difficult" to further postpone or cancel the springtime Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises, Yonhap reported.
The war games were delayed upon the request of the South Korean president to ease tensions with North Korea during the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The pariah state regards joint drills between Seoul and Washington as a rehearsal for invasion, and has continuously called for their scrapping.
"However, if there is dialogue between the United States and North Korea, there could be some sort of compromise," the expert said, adding that he is cautious but optimistic about such dialogue.
South Korea has been aiming for improved inter-Korean ties to generate an opportunity for talks between Washington and Pyongyang to move toward denuclearization of the North.
North Korea's chief envoy to the Pyeongchang Olympics Closing Ceremony this week told Seoul officials that "the door for dialogue with the U.S. is open."
U.S. President Donald Trump has also indicated Washington wants to talk, although under the right conditions, the New York Times reported.
In order to broker talks between the two sides, the South Korean leader is "working hard with sincerity" with a posture of "maximum prudence," according to Moon.
The expert said South Korea and the U.S. are currently working on a comprehensive roadmap for denuclearization.
"If we can make a joint road map that provides a reasonable incentives for the North, Pyongyang could be persuaded," he said.