US military indefinitely suspends two training exercises with South Korea
The Pentagon announced Friday that the U.S. would indefinitely suspend two training exercises with South Korea as part of the Trump administration’s push to negotiate for the removal of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.
Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White said that the decision reached by Defense Secretary James Mattis and national security adviser John Bolton would be contingent on future “good faith” negotiations and developments with North Korea and Kim Jong Un’s government.
“To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in coordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises,” White said, saying the U.S. has suspended “two Korean Marine Exchange Program training exercises scheduled to occur in the next three months.”
“In support of upcoming diplomatic negotiations led by Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo, additional decisions will depend upon the DPRK continuing to have productive negotiations in good faith,” the Pentagon spokeswoman added, referring to the official name for North Korea.
The move comes four days after the Pentagon announced that it had officially suspended planning for its annual August “war game” with South Korea’s military known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian.
President Trump has pointed to the games’ provocative nature, as they simulate the invasion of North Korea, as well as the operational cost of the exercises as reasons behind their suspension.
“We will stop the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money, unless and until we see the future negotiations is not going along like it should,” Trump said at a news conference after his historic summit with Kim in Singapore earlier this month.
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