Pentagon estimates canceled ‘war games’ with South Korea would have cost $14 million

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The 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command gears up for Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian in South Korea, 2011. (ANTWAUN J. PARRISH/U.S. ARMY)
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The 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command gears up for Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian in South Korea, 2011. (ANTWAUN J. PARRISH/U.S. ARMY)

Pentagon estimates canceled ‘war games’ with South Korea would have cost $14 million

by: Corey Dickstein | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: July 12, 2018

WASHINGTON — The United States’ annual August military drills with South Korea canceled last month by order of President Donald Trump as his administration negotiates a halt to North Korea’s nuclear program would have cost the Pentagon about $14 million, according to defense officials.

Pentagon officials were unable last month to provide a cost-savings estimate for canceling the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise. After Trump met with the North’s leader Kim Jong Un on June 12, the president announced he would halt all joint “war games” with South Korea so long as North Korea was negotiating in good faith.

On Wednesday, Army Col. Rob Manning, the Pentagon spokesman who provided the $14 million figure for the suspended military drill, did not have a breakdown explaining how defense officials arrived at that cost. Manning also did not have an estimate for cost savings for additional joint exercises in South Korea that could be canceled in the future.

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