Friday, 20 July, 2018

Scrapped drill with S. Korea would have cost $14 mn: Pentagon

S. Korea approves rare screening of N. Korea films Kim Jong Un snubbed Mike Pompeo for potato farm visit, state media suggests
Steven Clarke | 12 July, 2018, 12:39

The annual exercise, which normally begins in late August, involved more than 50,000 South Korean and 17,500 US troops past year.

At the Pentagon on Monday, Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said that Ulchi Freedom Guardian would likely have cost the USA about $14 million but gave no details on how the figure was calculated. "We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea".

The $14 million cost for Ulchi Freedom Guardian represents a microscopic portion of the Pentagon's roughly $700 billion budget. The amount is less than the purchase price of a fighter jet or slightly more than the cost of two M1 Abrams tanks, according to Pentagon documents.

The White House felt that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit last week to Pyongyang, North Korea went poorly, a source told CNN. Meanwhile, Pompeo remained positive about the negotiations and called the meeting productive.

Thai official: Rescued boys generally healthy and smiling
All 12 boys trapped underground in Thailand have been rescued following the "largest, most complex cave rescue in history". Medical officials told reporters that they're healthy, fever-free, mentally fit and "seem to be in high spirits".

Putin has invited the North Korean leader to the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, but Kim has yet to reply.

What Pyongyang really wants is a four-party meeting with South Korea, China and the United States, the professor said.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Virginia, wrote to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Thursday, asking him to answer a number of questions related to North Korea's progress, in light of statements made by President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "North Korea has made it clear that its principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action has to be abided by", Wang said, adding that both Washington and Pyongyang need to make compromises to narrow their gaps. "The Defense Ministry will maintain robust readiness posture". North Korea has accused the joint drill of being a dress rehearsal for an invasion even though the allies' insisted that it was defensive in nature. The exercise, held annually since 1976, typically lasts about 10 days and involves tens of thousands of troops.

Streets in South Korean cities froze at the sound of air-raid sirens every year during the Ulchi drills in August with cars stopping on roads, pedestrians moving into buildings and subway stations, and government workers evacuating from their offices. Troops from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and New Zealand also participated, according to the Defense Department.

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