Mattis: ‘No Plans’ For U.S. To Keep Suspending Military Exercises With South Korea

President Trump said the United States would discontinue “expensive” military exercises with South Korea as a show of good faith to North Korea. The act was supposed to be met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un denuclearizing his country and pursuing a peace deal with his southern neighbors.

The military measures will be suspended no more according to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

“We took the step to suspend several of the largest military exercises as a good faith measure,” Mattis said to a group of reporters in a rare conference, the Washington Examiner reports. “We have no plans to suspend anymore.”

Here’s more on the military exercises, per the report:

President Trump in June reportedly surprised other members of the administration when he announced the Pentagon would not conduct the “war games” following his meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore. At the time, Trump said the exercise cost a “fortune.” The Pentagon followed through by halting planning of Ulchi Freedom Guardian.

“We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith – which both sides are!” Trump tweeted in June.

The Defense Department later said the exercise cost about $14 million to conduct.

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Here’s more from Mattis, via Washington Times:

“We took the step to suspend several of our largest exercises as a good faith measure coming out of the Singapore summit,” Mr. Mattis told reporters, referring to the historic June meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

“We have no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises,” the secretary continued. “We will work very closely … with the secretary of state and what he needs done, we will certainly do to reinforce his effort. But at this time there is no discussion about further suspensions.”


Following the Singapore summit, the military suspended the massive Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise in South Korea, which involves thousands of American troops each year. The suspension was designed to spur further denuclearization talks with North Korea.

But Mr. Trump and top administration officials in recent days have blasted Pyongyang for not following through on its commitments and taking no real tangible steps to denuclearize.

Watch the whole, 1-hour conference below:


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