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00:00:01
>> US Defense officials are under pressure to keep one of their finest forces battle ready. President Donald Trump has called off military exercises with South Korea, a concession to North Korea after meeting Kim Jong-un this week. It's still not clear what types of training will be allowed, but big joint drills with South Korea seem to be off limits.
00:00:23
Critics warn that Trump's decision will take a toll on US troops stationed there who have long prided themselves on being able to fight tonight. Reuters Phil Stewart explains what comes next.>> Now the US Military in South Korea is one of the most highly trained and highly capable forces around the world.
00:00:41
And part of that is because they have regular drills, including a whole series of drills that just wrapped up in May. Now the next big exercise is in August, it's called exercise Ulchi-Freedom Guardian. And that exercise actually could be suspended, delayed, called off, because of this new policy by the president.
00:00:59
>> Trump called the exercises expensive and a quote, provocation. That's an echo of North Korea's own language to describe what it sees as a rehearsal for war. But one National Security Council official told Reuters that exercises will go on in one form or another. It's a tricky maneuver as the Pentagon tries to figure out just how far it can go.
00:01:22
>> Interestingly, what I think we're gonna see is a lot of creative branding of activities that will be going on over the coming weeks and months that will try to maintain a certain level of readiness in the Peninsula without crossing this red line. Now what the North Korea sees as war games and what the Pentagon sees as war games, again, may not match up.
00:01:39
>> Another solution might be to move trainings somewhere else. The US Pacific Command has a big enough footprint in Asia to offer plenty of opportunities. But one retired Air Force officer shot that idea down, telling Reuters it would be, quote, bizarre, because big contenders like Guam or Japan look nothing like North Korea.
00:02:00
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