Trump says no reason to spend money on U.S.-S. Korea war games

August 29, 2018

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) — U.S. President Donald Trump has said there is no reason to spend money on joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea.

“There is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games,” the White House said in a statement posted on Twitter by Trump on Wednesday (local time). “Besides, the President can instantly start the joint exercises with South Korea and Japan if he chooses.”

South Korea and the U.S. earlier agreed to suspend their joint military drills in South Korea for as long as North Korea maintains good faith in its denuclearization efforts.

On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis hinted that the allies may seek to resume the maneuvers. His remarks are interpreted as a move to add more pressure on the North so it will give up its nuclear weapons.

It came after Trump canceled a planned trip by his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to North Korea to discuss its denuclearization, citing insufficient progress in nuclear talks. He blamed China for not cooperating enough to resolve the issue.

“China is providing North Korea with considerable aid, including money, fuel, fertilizer and various other commodities. This is not helpful!!!” the White House said. “Nonetheless, the President believes that his relationship with Kim Jong Un is a very good and warm one.”