In the wake of the summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, US President Donald Trump “pledged to end the war games” with North Korea; and now, the United States and South Korea has agreed to suspend joint military exercise that was scheduled for August to affirm their commitment on maintaining peace with DPRK.
The US-North Korea “denuclearization summit” held on June 12 had a clear winner, and we all know who it was. In exchange of a reaffirmation to the good old commitment to the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”, the so-called “rocket-man” took home a guarantee from the States to provide security to his country. While Trump might be happy with scoring brownie points from the summit, he is abide to keep his words to ensure and respect security of North Korea. Which is exactly why, Trump had pledged to end the “war games” and make efforts to neutralise the sour relations with the little rouge nation.
Keeping the promise, United States and South Korea have agreed to suspend the joint military exercise that was scheduled for August. The US’ defence artillery unit – Pentagon had issued an official statement confirming the suspension of the “war game” exercise with South Korea to remain “consistent with President Trump’s commitment and in concert with our Republic of Korea ally”. Pentagon also added that a meeting will be held between the secretaries of defence and state, as well as Trump’s national security adviser, later this week to discuss the issue.
Interestingly, the Pentagon is known to remain formal and rarely practices the usage of words like “war games” for joint military drills. It is something that is often seen in North Korean media statements – which adds to the already bewildered US defence officials. Earlier, Trump had cited that the “tremendously expensive” costs of joint military exercises was the reason for halting it. Perhaps, the Pentagon is yet to release official figure, but generally, it is tough to calculate the cost of military exercises as it includes acquiring data from different branches of the military and spread over several budgets over different years. However, from previous exercises with Korea, the cost of a single exercise would be in the low or perhaps tens of millions of dollars – a fraction from nearly $700 billion worth US military budget, so cost cutting doesn’t really make sense for the US to suspend exercise. Wonder what actually happened at Singapore?