Speaking at a seminar in Washington on Friday, President Moon's special advisor on unification, diplomacy and security, Moon Chung-in said Seoul could consult with Washington about downsizing the annual South Korea-U.S. military drills if North Korea decides to abandon its nuclear weapons.
His remarks come a matter of days after President Moon said he would hold talks with North Korea with no pre-conditions, if Pyongyang halts its missile and nuclear tests.
"If North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile activities, then we may consult with the United States to scaling down ROK-U.S. joint exercise."
The adviser also emphasized the need to go through domestic procedures before bringing in the U.S. missile defense system THAAD, but stressed that he was speaking as a foreign affairs scholar, NOT as the president's adviser.
He reiterated that a full-scale environmental impact assessment will take at least a year.
"They should go the full seasonal cycle and measure environmental impact. Nobody can, even God cannot, you know, bypass that rule."
During a follow-up press conference, the adviser said it would be hard to say Seoul and Washington have a strong alliance, if it breaks over the THAAD issue.
However, he stressed that the South Korean government would fully cooperate with the U.S. and won't do anything that surprises Washington.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.