Around 17,500 United States troops will participate in this year's drills - a cutback from last year - according to numbers provided by Seoul's defence ministry.
He also indirectly urged the USA - the South's key ally and security guarantor - to resolve the crisis peacefully. He has mulled options, reportedly including everything from withdrawal to sending thousands of additional US troops, for months.
"Moon has talked about how South Korea should be in the driver's seat when it comes to dealing with North Korea, but that clearly was just rhetoric", Choi Do-hyun, a 39-year-old office worker in Seoul, said in an interview.
The South Korean government has implemented its own programs to make reparations for the workers in accordance with that stance.
Both events routinely anger North Korea, which insists that the exercises are rehearsals for an invasion.
The North followed the May launch with two flight tests of its Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile last month. "In that respect, North Korea is nearing the red line". Although it is hard to assume the Moon administration would disavow the 1965 Japan-South Korea agreement on property and claims, there are concerns about how it would respond should the court order a compensation payment, and should the assets of Japanese companies be seized, amid other steps, to realize this payment.
It's nearly certain that this year's drills will trigger some kind of reaction from North Korea.
The tentative interest in diplomacy follows unusually combative threats between Trump and North Korea amid worries Pyongyang is nearing its long-sought goal of being able to send a nuclear missile to the USA mainland.
If this is right, expect the usual propaganda belligerence in state media or low-level provocations like artillery and short-range missile drills. North Korea had threatened to launch missiles targeting waters near the us territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.
"North Korea has already flight-tested ICBMs twice this year and will probably take a wait-and-see approach to assess the impact of stronger pressure from the United States and China and maybe even seek an opportunity for talks, rather than quickly move forward with another test", said Moon Seong Mook, a former South Korean military official and current senior analyst for the Seoul-based Korea Research Institute for National Strategy. But Washington is also ready to use the full range of its military capabilities in case of provocation, Dunford said.
Mr Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon said in an interview with The American Prospect: "There's no military solution (to North Korea's nuclear threats), forget it".
Speaking to reporters during his trip to China, General Joe Dunford, the chair of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Washington has "credible, viable military options" for dealing with Pyongyang.
"The US and South Korea can call the joint exercises defensive and regular as much as they want, but it's not defensive if you're sitting in Pyongyang".
North Korea responded by threatening to aim a missile at the American territory Guam, though later said the operation was suspended.
"Neither Guam nor Hawaii nor the US mainland can dodge the merciless strike of the strategic force of the Korean People's army".
A South Korean protester waves a flag on the top of a truck decorated with words reading "No War No Trump" in Seoul on August 15, 2017.
The Guam Office of Homeland Security issued a release stating that the threat level for Guam remains unchanged.