Mattis: Korea Exercises on Hold Until After March Paralympics

Downplays Significance of Delays, Citing 'Logistics'

With talk earlier this week that South Korea’s was putting war games on hold in trying to attract North Korea to participate in the Winter Olympics, Defense Secretary James Mattis now says US-South Korea drills are on hold until after the Paralympics, held a month after the Winter Olympics.

Mattis attempted to downplay the matter, saying reporters shouldn’t “read too much into” reports of diplomacy in Korea, and insisting that the exercises are only on hold because of logistical concerns.

With the US position on North Korea talks with South Korea a bit tentative, Mattis clearly wouldn’t want to confirm if South Korea had halted military exercises for the sake of diplomacy.

At the same time, the US has been holding almost non-stop drills all year in Korea, so it’s hard to imagine why there would suddenly be a logistics issue related to the Paralympics which would be putting things on hold.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.