The United States and South Korea will resume joint military drills on April 1.

The United States and South Korea will resume joint military drills on April 1, North Korea has already been informed about these plans, the US Department of Defense said in a statement on late Monday.

"Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and the Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo have agreed to resume the annual combined exercises including Foal Eagle and Key Resolve which were deconflicted with the schedule of the Olympic Games. The exercises are expected to resume April 1, 2018, at a scale similar to that of the previous years," the statement said.

The US Department of Defense pointed out that the United Nations Command had already notified the Korean People's Army "on the schedule as well as the defensive nature of the annual exercises."

"In accordance with the previous practices, the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission will observe the exercises to confirm their compliance with the armistice agreement," the statement added.

Earlier, a senior US administration official reported that the United States and its allies would continue conducting routine defensive exercises near the Korean peninsula after the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Washington has long included itself in the Korean dispute. It has heavy military presence in the region and uses North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear programs as a pretext to constantly threaten Pyongyang with military action.

That military posture has concerned the North, which says it needs to advance its weapons program to protect itself against potential US military action.