Saturday, 17 November, 2018

US, S. Korea suspend additional military exercise, says Pentagon

South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images
Ellis Copeland | 21 October, 2018, 23:01

The president has also balked at the cost of the almost 30,000 American troops stationed at bases in South Korea and at one point seemed to threaten to remove them entirely.

Vigilant Ace is previously scheduled for December this year.

Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya and his US and South Korean counterparts, James Mattis and Jeong Kyeongdoo, participated in trilateral consultations on the sidelines of the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) defense ministers, according to the NHK broadcaster.

"Both ministers are committed to modifying training exercises to ensure the readiness of our forces", Dana White, the Pentagon spokesperson, said in a statement.

Both Mattis and Jeong had met earlier Friday in Singapore on the sidelines of the ASEAN security meeting.

It's at least the fourth military exercise that the nations have canceled since President Donald Trump unexpectedly announced he was suspending military "war games" on the peninsula after his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Last year, Vigilant Ace had more than 230 aircraft, including six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, and around 12,000 USA service members.

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At Friday's meeting, Mattis reiterated Washington's concern "about the militarization of the features in the South China Sea". Military-to-military ties have always been one of the more fragile parts of the overall U.S.


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However, amid the rising global pressure, Turkey and Saudi Arabia conducted a joint search of the Saudi consulate . The Times reported Saudi operatives began a social media campaign to harass critics in 2010.


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Three tickets sold in North Carolina were among the 100 $10,000 winners nationwide in last week's drawing, lottery officials said. The Mega Millions lottery has reached $ 1 billion , and people are making sure they don't miss their shot at the jackpot.


"South Korea and the US will not conduct an annual joint military exercise that was previously scheduled to take place at the end of the year". The two countries have agreed not to hold joint military exercises, a move they hope will encourage North Korea to engage in meaningful dialogue.

White said the two defense chiefs agreed to "maintain close coordination and evaluate future exercises".

Occurring just days after North Korea's successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the east coast of the United States, North Korea blasted the exercise as being a provocation.

A month after that summit, the United States and South Korea announced they would suspend the large Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise scheduled for August.

Officials say they don't want to be provocative, and wargames based around USA bombers tend to raise the most concern from the north, meaning such a cancellation was probably being pushed by South Korea, who wants to secure their diplomatic gains.

Mattis consulted Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya ahead of the joint US and South Korean announcement.

During Friday's meeting, Iwaya explained to Mattis recent developments over the relocation as the central government took countermeasures against Okinawa, home to the bulk of USA military facilities in Japan.

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