epa04003735 South Korea's naval ships hold a firing exercise in the Yellow Sea, off the South Korean west coast, on 30 December 2013. Reports state that in late November, China declared an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea, including the Senkakus. The zone has been criticized by Japan, South Korea and the United States. EPA/STRINGER SOUTH KOREA OUT

The Pentagon is not considering cutting back the joint US-South Korean military exercises that have drawn angry condemnation from Pyongyang ahead of a planned US-North Korea summit, an official said Thursday.

“There’s been no talk of reducing anything. There’s been no talk of changing our scope,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.

The exercises “are defensive in nature and the scope hasn’t changed … This is about safeguarding the alliance,” she added.

North Korea has canceled talks with Seoul over the “Max Thunder” joint military exercises between the US and the South.

Pyongyang has also threatened to cancel a historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore next month, following weeks of tentative rapprochement.

The Max Thunder drills started May 11 and involve some 100 aircraft from the US and South Korea, including F-22 stealth fighter jets.