Trump’s Pentagon chief raised the specter of restarting military drills with South Korea if there’s no progress on North Korean denuclearization talks. “They’ve never been turned off,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said of future drills, in a rare press briefing Tuesday. “We turned off several to make a good faith effort. We are going to see how the negotiations go and then we’ll calculate...how we go forward. I don’t have a crystal ball.” The Pentagon called off planned summer military exercises which President Donald Trump has called “provocative,” as part of a pledge in the Singapore summit with North Korea. But the negotiations have become mired in tit-for-tat demands, and Trump abruptly canceled this week’s planned meetings with Pyongyang. The spring and summer U.S. and South Korean drills roughly mirror North Korea’s own military training cycle. The next major round of U.S. exercises with South Korea would be Foal Eagle and Key Resolve in the spring, which were slightly delayed this past year to avoid provoking the north during the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
— Kimberly Dozier