Kim Jong-un Blew Off Mike Pompeo to Visit a Potato Farm

12 July, 2018, 12:41 | Author: Wade Massey

At the Pentagon on Monday, Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said that Ulchi Freedom Guardian would likely have cost the US about $14 million but gave no details on how the figure was calculated.

The $14 million cost for Ulchi Freedom Guardian represents a microscopic portion of the Pentagon's roughly $700 billion budget.

"The White House has essentially tried to shoot for the moon and total disarmament, and it's clear that North Korea is not only not willing to do that, but sees very little reason to take steps in that direction".

The drill, called the Ulchi exercises, usually takes place every August in tandem with the joint Freedom Guardian military drill with the United States.

The White House had said earlier Pompeo would meet with the leader, but the encounter did not materialise and the top USA diplomat only met with Kim Yong Chol. The amount is less than the purchase price of a fighter jet or slightly more than the cost of two M1 Abrams tanks, according to Pentagon documents.

Meanwhile, back in Pyongyang, the meetings between Pompeo and representatives of Kim's governments were a disaster.

Following his meetings, Pompeo told reporters that the two sides had made progress on defining denuclearization to begin the process of ending North Korea's illegal nuclear weapons program.

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FILE - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with China's President Xi Jinping, in Dalian, China in this undated photo released on May 9, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Trump unilaterally chose to suspend military drills with South Korea, which could potentially wither and undermine the rationale behind an important United States foothold in Asia.

Those decisions rest firmly with Trump and his advisers, Manning said.

"Certainly they can make a decision whether or not those drills are reinstated if they decide to do so based on North Korea's actions", he said. "We've got a series of things we do to maintain readiness". North Korea has accused the joint drill of being a dress rehearsal for an invasion even though the allies' insisted that it was defensive in nature.

Last year, 17,500 American servicemembers participated in the exercise, including about 3,500 who came from outside of South Korea, according to the Pentagon.

At Seoul's invitation, Pyongyang sent athletes and senior officials to the South's Winter Games in February and South Korean basketball players visited Pyongyang last week.

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