James Mattis, Defense Secretary during a press conference in Pentagon stated that the US has made no major decisions on withholding bigger exercises for the upcoming year. He added that the current suspensions on the drill which came into effect from last summer are mainly because of the honest intention put forward by North Korea. He furthered added that the US military doesn’t have any plans to suspend military exercises with South Korea; even after diplomacy talks between the US and North Korea over the dismantling of the nuclear weapons broke down.
US President Donald Trump discontinuation of drills from one-side caught many American military planners inattentive and they vehemently chastised the decision. They went ahead and called it an immature adjustment with Kim Jong Un. James went ahead and said that they took the effort to hold –off military exercises because of the pledge made by North Korea during the June summit. However, they don’t have any other plans to withhold other exercises over the coming years.
Mattis’s comment comes at a crucial juncture when negotiations on denuclearization talks between Pompeo and North Korean officials got dismissed by Trump. Even after the June summit, Trump was hopeful that Kim would stick to its pledge of complete denuclearization of Korean Peninsula. However, some analysts doubted whether North Korea is really willing to give up their nuclear weapons and nuclear programme. Trump blamed China for not being able to make any progress with North Korea.
In fact, North Korea is looking forward to a peace treaty. However, as the Korean War ended in a ceasefire, the UN forces are at war in the peninsula. The US is apprehensive that North Korea might strike a separate deal with South Korea.
Mattis refused to make any comments on the diplomatic efforts he added that they would be working closely with the secretary of state and the decisions would be implemented. Currently, the US-South Korean exercise calendar points out that Foal Eagle and Max Thunder drills as important things every year. However, it didn’t hint any planning for the drills are under process or not.