Mattis Cancels Another Exercise As ‘Love’ Between Trump And Kim Jong Un Blossoms

Analysis

The U.S. military has called off yet another exercise in South Korea as part of President Trump’s efforts to reach an agreement with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un about nuclear weapons.


Vigilant Ace, an annual aviation exercise, will not be happening in December. Its purpose is to allow the Air Force as well as Navy and Marine Corps aviation units to train with South Korea’s air force. Last year’s exercise involved 230 aircraft.

“Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo decided to suspend Exercise Vigilant Ace to give the diplomatic process every opportunity to continue,” Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White announced on Friday.

“Both ministers are committed to modifying training exercises to ensure the readiness of our forces. They pledged to maintain close coordination and evaluate future exercises.”

Friday’s announcement is the latest development in the off-again, on-again war games on the Korean peninsula. In June, President Trump ordered the Pentagon to suspend this year’s Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, which he called, “tremendously expensive” and “very provocative.”

Mattis told reporters on Aug. 28 that there were no plans to cancel further exercise in South Korea; however, the U.S. government had not yet decided whether to hold the Foal Eagle and Ulchi Freedom Guardian wargames in 2019.

But the next day, Trump tweeted a White House statement that contradicted Mattis: “There is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games. Besides, the President can instantly start the joint exercises again with South Korea, and Japan, if he so chooses. If he does, they will be far bigger than ever before.”

Trump’s relationship with Kim was warmed considerably this year. The two leaders met in Singapore in June and Trump has expressed his appreciation for the correspondence he has received from Kim.

“He wrote me beautiful letters,” Trump said at Sept. 29 rally in West Virginia. “They were great letters. And then we fell in love.”

SEE ALSO: Next Year’s War Games In South Korea May Or May Not Happen, Maybe

WATCH NEXT:

Vice President Mike Pence repeated President Donald Trump's claim that "ISIS has been defeated" in Syria on Wednesday just hours after several U.S. service members were killed by an ISIS suicide bomber in Manbij, Syria.

Read More Show Less
Soldiers, family and community gathered in Morehead City to render honors and witness the transfer and memorial of U.S. Army Sgt James Slape Nov. 9-11, 2018. Slape will hold a temporary resting place in Morehead City before ultimately moving to Arlington Cemetery. Slape supported Operations Resolute Support and Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt Leticia Samuels, North Carolina National Guard)

An ISIS suicide bomber killed four Americans in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday.

Read More Show Less

Comedian Steve Carell will be starring in an upcoming Netflix show about the new Space Force that's being described as a "workplace comedy."

Yeah, that's right. The Office, but in freaking space.

Read More Show Less
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, are disagreeing with President Donald Trump's sudden decision to pull all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Lindsey Graham essentially laid the deaths of the unknown number of U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday at the feet of President Donald Trump during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Bloomberg News reports.

Read More Show Less