SecDef: North Korea Remains ‘Extraordinary Threat;’ No Need to Restore Military Drills

Says no plans to restore joint US-South Korea exercises

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan says that North Korea remains an “extraordinary threat” which might strike US forces, and that the nation requires “continued vigilance”even during diplomatic efforts.

Shanahan made the comments during a visit to Singapore, saying that North Korea could credibly strike “region allies, US territory, and our forward-deployed forces.” Diplomatic engagement has made progress over the past year and a half, but appears virtually halted since the failed Hanoi summit.

That said, Shanahan said he didn’t think there would be any attempt to restore joint military exercises with South Korea which had been put on hold last year to try to avoid threatening the diplomacy.

Shanahan said he doesn’t think it is necessary to restart the drills, and that the focus right now is on maintaining military readiness under the current situation. Most of the large US-South Korea drills focused on practiced invasions of North Korea.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of