Despite President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. is suspending joint military exercises with South Korea, dubbing them “expensive” and “provocative,” CBS News’ David Martin reports the Pentagon hasn’t yet issued instructions on suspending planning for upcoming exercises.
Mr. Trump announced after his visit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that the joint military exercises or “war games” would be suspended while negotiations with North Korea are ongoing, a concession that drew skepticism from the president’s critics. Earlier this week, CBS News confirmed the Defense Department is complying with the president’s wishes, even as instructions for that suspension have yet to materialize. The next military exercise, titled Ulchi Freedom Guardian, scheduled for the fall, has yet to be canceled.
Mr. Trump on Friday said he “hated” the “war games” from the “day I came in.”
“Military — I call them ‘war games,'” Mr. Trump said. “I hated them from the day I came in. I said, ‘why aren’t we being reimbursed?'”
When a reporter suggested that “war games” is North Korea’s term, Mr. Trump said, “That’s my term.” The reporter said North Korea uses the term, too.
“They might use it,” Mr. Trump said. “We pay for it. We pay millions and millions of dollars for planes, and all of this. It’s my term. I said, I’d like to halt it because it’s bad to be negotiating and doing it. It costs us a lot of money. I saved lot of money. That’s a good thing for us.”
But, compared to the Pentagon’s overall budget, the military exercises cost little.the combined, 13-hour trip for three bombers used in such flights is roughly $3.5 million.
For comparison, taxpayers spent roughly $6.6 million on airfare for Mr. Trump to travel to Mar-a-Lago in 2017, according to a Wall Street Journal review of Air Force records.
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