June 12, 2018 / 5:38 PM / 3 months ago

Mattis not surprised by Trump halting South Korea drills - Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was not caught off guard by President Donald Trump’s announcement that he was suspending military exercises with South Korea, a Pentagon spokeswoman said on Tuesday, adding he was consulted ahead of time.

U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis speaks at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore June 2, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Pressed on whether he was surprised by the decision to halt the military drills, spokeswoman Dana White said: “There were no surprises.”

Other current and former U.S. defence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters they were surprised by the announcement and expressed concern about lowering the readiness of American military personnel on the Korean peninsula.

Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; editing by Grant McCool

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