Canceled US 'war game' with South Korea would have cost $14 million
The Pentagon says the joint U.S. military exercise with South Korea that was suspended after President Donald Trumpâs summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month would have cost $14 million. Until now, the Pentagon had been unable to provide a cost estimate for exercises that Trump had labeled âvery expensive.â
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Following the summit, Trump made the surprise announcement that he was ending what he called âwar gamesâ with South Korea because they were âprovocativeâ and âvery expensive.â
In line with Trumpâs pledge, the Pentagon later announced it was suspending planning for the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise that was slated to begin in August.
âThe estim ated cost of the exercise was to be approximately $14 million,â Major Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, said on Friday.
In the wake of his pledge to end the annual military exercises with South Korea, Trump continued to cite their high costs as a reason for âholding back the âwar games.ââ
âWe stopped playing those âwar gamesâ that cost us a fortune,â Trump told ABCâs George Stephanopoulos in an interview directly following his summit in Singapore last month. âYou know, weâre spending a fortune, every couple of months weâre doing war games with South Korea, and I said, âWhatâs this costing?â Weâre flying planes in from Guam, weâre bombing empty mountains for practice. I said, âI want to stop that and I will stop that, and I think itâs very provocative.ââ
While the $14 million associated with the exercise is a significant sum, it is a tiny fraction of the Pentagonâs annual $700 billion budget (.002 percent). < /p> (MORE: Using Trump's term, Pentagon suspends plans for 'war game' with South Korea)
Until now Pentagon officials had been unable to provide a cost estimate for the exercises noting that its funding came from various military service budgets.
âMajor joint exercises involving forces traveling around the globe to exercise with our allies and partners over a period of weeks or even months can cost up to $20 million or more depending on th e exercise,â Gleason explained.
Mainly a computer simulation exercise, Ulchi Freedom Guardian still involves thousands of American troops. Last yearâs version of the exercise involved 17,500 American troops, most of them already based in South Korea.Source: Google News South Korea | Netizen 24 South Korea