MILITARY/NORTH KOREA/SOUTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Pentagon announced on Monday [6-18-18] that it was suspending a major military exercise with South Korea that President Trump had criticized as a waste of money. The decision to cancel — at least for now — the large-scale, long-planned Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise set for August had been expected after Mr. Trump’s surprise announcement in Singapore that he was ending joint military exercises as an inducement for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program…Defense Department officials had said on Friday that they expected the exercise to be canceled or scaled back, and that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, discussed canceling the exercises during a telephone call on Thursday. The possibility was kicked around last week of shrinking the sprawling Ulchi Freedom Guardian down to a so-called tabletop exercise, which would be less visible but stop short of a cancellation. But Mr. Trump’s assertion that he was canceling “war games” made it difficult to conduct the exercise in any form without the risk that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, would accuse the United States of failing to keep its word.”

-Eric Schmitt, “Pentagon Suspends Major War Game With South Korea,” The New York Times online, June 19, 2018