Looming war games suspension raises concern in Seoul

After being blindsided by President Donald Trump's decision to shelve major U.S. military exercises in South Korea, Seoul appears to be going along with it.

A senior South Korean presidential official said Friday that Washington and Seoul have begun discussions on temporarily suspending massive "Ulchi Freedom Guardian" exercises that usually take place in August and possibly other joint drills while nuclear diplomacy with North Korea continues.

Seoul's Defense Ministry says Defense Minister Song Young-moo held "deep" discussions about the drills with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in a telephone conversation Thursday evening.

Experts are split on whether Washington and Seoul are making the right move in suspending the exercises, which North Korea has long condemned as rehearsals for an invasion.