SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper pressed South Korea on Friday to pay more for the cost of stationing U.S. troops in the country and to maintain an intelligence-sharing pact with its other Asian ally, Japan, that Seoul is about to let lapse.

Speaking after a high-level defense policy meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, Esper also said the two countries must be flexible with their joint military drills to back diplomatic efforts to end North Korea's nuclear program.

But he stopped short of announcing any new reduction in military exercises that North Korea has sharply condemned.

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An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon Inspector General has declined the request of seven Senate Democrats to open a probe into whether the Defense Department was negligent in delaying congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine, according to a letter.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Christopher Anderson, an aide to former Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, testified that the White House cancelled a Navy freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the Black Sea after President Donald Trump complained to then-national security advisor John Bolton about a CNN report that framed the operation as a counter to Russia, Politico reports.

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President Donald Trump (Associated Press photo)

A senior Pentagon official told impeachment investigators that President Donald Trump's freeze on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine posed a strategic nightmare for the Defense Department and put the American-allied country in a deeply dangerous position, according to impeachment inquiry testimony released Monday.

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Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified before Congress on Friday that he believed there was "no ambiguity" to what President Trump was asking for on his July 25th call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Vindman, an active-duty Army officer currently working on the National Security Council, told lawmakers that, in the call between President Trump and Zelensky, it was "explicit" what Trump was asking for, according to a transcript of his testimony released on Friday

"I mean, there was no ambiguity, I guess, in my mind. He was calling for something, calling for an investigation that didn't exist into the Bidens and Burisma," Vindman said. "My visceral reaction to what was being called for suggested that it was explicit. There was no ambiguity."

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NEW YORK — President Donald Trump must pay $2 million for running his crooked Trump Foundation charity that transferred money intended for veterans to his political campaign, a judge ruled Thursday.

Trump agreed to dissolve the foundation in December as part of a deal with New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who alleged the charity was used as an arm of his presidential campaign and a personal piggy bank for the Trump family.

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