Skip to main content

The United States and South Korea have agreed to indefinitely suspend two exchange program training exercises, the Pentagon said on Friday, in the aftermath of the summit earlier this month between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in co-ordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.

“This includes suspending FREEDOM GUARDIAN along with two Korean Marine Exchange Program training exercises scheduled to occur in the next three months,” White said.

Story continues below advertisement

Regarding suspension of the exercises, South Korea’s defence ministry said, “South Korea and the U.S. decided to delay two of KMEP (drills) indefinitely, which was going to take place within the next three months.

“This is a part of follow-up measures after the North Korea-U.S. summit and South Korea-North Korea summit. There could be additional measures should North Korea follow suit with productive co-operation.”

At a news conference after the meeting with Kim in Singapore, Trump announced that he would halt what he called “very provocative” and expensive regular military exercises that the United States holds with South Korea. North Korea had long sought an end to the war games.

Earlier this week, the United States and South Korea said they were suspending planning for August’s Freedom Guardian exercise.

Last year, 17,500 American troops and more than 50,000 South Korean troops joined the Freedom Guardian drills, although the exercise is mostly focused on computerized simulations rather than field exercises.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, played down the significance of suspending the Korean Marine Exchange Program training exercises, saying they were relatively minor.

Jim Mattis met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton on Friday, White said.

Story continues below advertisement

“In support of upcoming diplomatic negotiations led by Secretary Pompeo, additional decisions will depend upon the DPRK continuing to have productive negotiations in good faith,” she added.

Every spring, the United States and South Korea conduct Foal Eagle and Max Thunder drills, both of which wrapped up in May.

The decision to halt military exercises with South Korea baffled allies, military officials and lawmakers. The drills help keep U.S. forces at a state of readiness in one of the world’s most tense flashpoints.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter