US, South Korea to Cancel Large Spring Military Exercises

Officials expect to focus on much smaller exercises

Once a major annual source of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the large joint US-South Korea spring military exercises Foal Eagle and Key Resolve are to be canceled, according to officials familiar with the situation.

These huge exercises were pared back and even put on hold to try to protect diplomatic progress and not do anything provocative. That seems to still be the case, and a formal announcement of their cancellation is expected in the next few days.

With Pentagon officials likely to complain that these are necessary for “readiness,” it is likely that some smaller, less provocative exercises will be announced instead. Details of that, however, have not been announced.

Trump is keen on such moves, complaining of the cost of the exercises. In recent comments to reporters, Trump said “I was telling the generals, I said: Look, you know, exercising is fun and it’s nice and they play the war games. And I’m not saying it’s not necessary, because at some levels it is, but at other levels it’s not.”

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.