Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Canceling Joint Exercise with South Korea Saved $14 Million: DoD

S. Korea approves rare screening of N. Korea films Kim Jong Un snubbed Mike Pompeo for potato farm visit, state media suggests
Deanna Wagner | 12 July, 2018, 12:41

South Korean soldiers take part in a military drill which held as a part of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise in Yongin, South Korea August 29, 2017.

At the Pentagon on Monday, Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said that Ulchi Freedom Guardian would likely have cost the US about $14 million but gave no details on how the figure was calculated.

And the U.S. -North Korea denuclear dealings will be decoupled from the Sino-U.S. trade fight, according to professor Wang.

The approximately US$14 million is not an insignificant sum, but represents only a tiny portion of the Pentagon's US$700 billion budget.

"Just now you said that some people in the United States associated the inconsistency of the statements made by the DPRK and the U.S. after their high-level meeting with China's role in the Korean Peninsula issue", she noted.

Meanwhile, Pompeo was meeting with the comparatively junior General Kim Yong Chol. "I have it for him", Trump said.

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FILE - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with China's President Xi Jinping, in Dalian, China in this undated photo released on May 9, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Involving tens of thousands of troops from the US and South Korea, the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise includes computer simulations carried out in a large bunker south of Seoul, meant to check the allies' readiness to repel aggression by North Korea.

Trump unilaterally made a decision to suspend military drills with South Korea, which could potentially wither and undermine the rationale behind an important USA foothold in Asia. "North Korea has made it clear that its principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action has to be abided by", Wang said, adding that both Washington and Pyongyang need to make compromises to narrow their gaps.

The colonel also said Pentagon leaders were not concerned that halting the drills with their South Korean allies would immediately impact the combat readiness of the roughly 28,500 American troops in South Korea. "The Defense Ministry will maintain robust readiness posture".

Ulchi Freedom Guardian is a largely computer-driven exercise created to prepare American and South Korean command and control interoperability, according to a Pentagon description. Some 50,000 South Korean troops participated in the exercise past year. Troops from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and New Zealand also participated, according to the Defense Department.