U.S. to resume military exercises in Korea, Mattis says
The U.S earlier this summer suspended military exercises on the Korean Peninsula as part of a “good faith” negotiating effort with North Korea.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday that effort is over.
“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.
With negotiations stalled and no concrete progress on the horizon, military leaders say their orders are to move forward with all future exercises.
“What it means in practical terms is that we’re making no changes to the exercise program at this time,” Mr. Mattis said.