Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan delivers his speech entitled "The U.S. Vision for Indo-Pacific Security" during the first plenary session of the 18th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-la Dialogue, an annual defense and security forum in Asia, in Singapore, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Acting defense chief: Major drills with SKorea still on hold

June 02, 2019 - 6:37 am

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says so far he sees no need to restore large-scale military exercises with South Korea that have been curtailed over the past year as a diplomatic olive branch to North Korea.

But he also says he wants to discuss the issue with his top American commander in South Korea, Army Gen. Robert Abrams, to "make sure that the plan that we put in place is sufficient."

Shanahan made the comments Sunday as he flew to Seoul to meet with his commanders and South Korean officials.

Shanahan's visit to Seoul comes as the U.S. and partners in the region weigh how to respond to missile tests conducted last month by North Korea.

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