U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters Tuesday that the U.S. is preparing to resume military exercises with South Korea after they were briefly suspended this past summer.
"We took the step to suspend several of the largest military exercise as a good faith measure," Mattis said at the Pentagon. “We have no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises.”
“We will work very closely … with the Secretary of State and what he needs done, we will certainly do to reinforce his effort,” he added. “But at this time there is no discussion about further suspensions.”
Following a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June, President Trump suspended war games with South Korea as a gesture of good faith in the denuclearization process.
"We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith - which both sides are!" Trump tweeted at the time.
However, relations with North Korea have recently stalled. President Trump cancelled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned trip to North Korea last week, citing the lack of progress in the goal of denuclearization.
I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2018
“What it means in practical terms is that we’re making no changes to the exercise program at this time,” Mattis said.
He said decisions about next year’s annual drills will be made “in consultation with State.”