The Pentagon is expected to cancel the next major joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea scheduled for August, a senior administration official told Fox News late Wednesday, the same week President Trump said he would move to stop U.S. war games at the Korean Peninsula.
The official said the Pentagon likely would make the formal cancellation announcement in a press release Thursday. Trump discussed U.S. actions in the region in a news conference Tuesday following his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
A agreement signed by Trump and Kim at the summit does not have any mention of suspending war games. Pentagon officials were surprised when the president referred to the war games as 'provocative,' as the U.S. military had always characterized them as 'defensive' in nature.
The upcoming joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise is called Ulchi Freedom Guardian.
The exercise that draws the most ire from North Korea comes each spring — known as Foal Eagle — when large live fire drills are held. Officials say if North Korea is not taking enough steps to get rid of its nukes by next year, those exercises would go forward.
The largest multilateral military exercise in Asia takes place every February in Thailand known as Cobra Gold. Twenty-nine nations participated last year — including the U.S. and South Korea. Preparing for potential war on the Korean Peninsula is part of the exercise.
CNN was first to report the plan.