- The Washington Times - Friday, February 1, 2019

A baker’s dozen of Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee has called on the Pentagon to resume conducting military exercises with South Korea.

In a letter addressed to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, the members expressed their concern with suspending military exercises, which were put on hold as a part of ongoing negotiations with North Korea. The lawmakers cited an assessment “that the North Korean nuclear program is continuing to and developing further” as reason to resume such activity.

The document, notably not signed by either leading member of the committee, warns that the suspension may be undermining military readiness “for little benefit.”

“Ultimately, the timing and scope of bilateral exercises should be dictated by national security interests, not the whims of the Pyongyang regime,” the letter reads. “By demonstrating the U.S. commitment to a treaty ally and promoting readiness, military exercises with the [South Korean] Armed Forces are complementary to joint efforts to pressure North Korea to reduce or eliminate its nuclear program.”

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