South Korean President Moon Jae-in floated the possibility of a three-way summit between the US and North and South Korea.
"I think both the South and the United States are staging a relatively low-key exercise in a bid not to unnecessarily provoke the North in this mood of rapprochement", Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University.
A surprise invitation to President Donald Trump to meet with Kim was quickly accepted, and now diplomats have been traveling the world to discuss preparations for the summits.
The South proposed sending a three-member delegation including chief delegate, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, to the border truce village of Panmunjom for talks Thursday next week to pave the way for the inter-Korean summit, the presidential Blue House said.
Chung said Kim was expected to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April before meeting Trump by the end of May.
Details of how the Trump-Kim meeting might take place are still not clear.
The statement also rubbished certain speculation about Pyongyang being arm twisted by the US.
A selection of artists will embark on the visit later this month, after North Korea sent performers to the recent Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.
"The great change in the North-South relations is not an accidental one but a noble fruition made thanks to the DPRK's proactive measure, warm compatriotism and will for defending peace", the commentary said.
The main Foal Eagle field exercise, which usually lasts two months, is scheduled to begin April 1 and last for a month, while the computer-simulated Key Resolve tabletop drills will be held for two weeks starting in mid-April, a South Korean military official was quoted as saying.
They will stage the first performances by South Korean acts in the North since 2007. It also includes the normalization of North Korea-U.S. relations, the development of inter-Korean ties, and economic cooperation involving Pyongyang and Washington, he said.
It is the first time Moon has referred to the possibility of a trilateral summit between Seoul, Washington and Pyongyang.
It said Pyongyang's overtures came from a position of strength, not from weakness, even as it confronts intense worldwide pressure as well as biting economic sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme.
The timing and size of the annual maneuvers are especially sensitive this year because of heightened tension over the North's accelerated work last year on a nuclear-armed missile potentially capable of reaching the United States - followed, unexpectedly, by prospects for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis.