Trump Touts Benefits of Curbing Joint South Korea Military Drills

Trump says US will save 'hundreds of millions of dollars'

Following the announcement that the US intends to scrap large joint military exercises with South Korea, President Trump has been extolling the virtues of the move, claiming they will be saving the US “hundreds of millions of dollars” annually.

President Trump also said on Twitter that cutting the drills would mean “reducing tensions with North Korea,” adding that this is a good thing at the moment. The spring drills between the US and South Korea have historically fueled a lot of tensions with North Korea.

The risk of large war-games blowing up diplomatic progress has been the chief reason such drills are dialed back. South Korea has favored such moves, and has sought to replace the drills with smaller, less provocative ones.

The financial savings are somewhat disputed, however. Though the cost of the exercises to be shelved are indeed in the hundreds of millions of dollars, between keeping all those troops in South Korea, and adding more smaller exercises, some estimates are that the savings will be smaller.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of