FILE PHOTO: Amphibious assault vehicles of the South Korean Marine Corps travel during a military exercise as a part of the annual joint military training called Foal Eagle between South Korea and the U.S. in Pohang, South Korea, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that a joint military exercise with South Korea called “Foal Eagle” would be reduced in scope next year so it does not harm diplomatic efforts with North Korea.

“Foal Eagle is being reorganized a bit to keep it at a level that will not be harmful to diplomacy,” Mattis told reporters.

The Foal Eagle field exercise, which usually involves combined ground, air, naval and special operations troops, takes place every spring.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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