Decision on US-Korea joint exercises coming by December

Members of the Honor Guard carry U.S. and South Korea flags after participating in the 2018 Security Consultative at the Pentagon, co-hosted by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and South Korea Minister of Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and South Korea are reviewing whether they will conduct large-scale military exercises next year and will decide before December.

South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo told reporters Wednesday at the Pentagon that if more exercises are suspended the two countries will conduct other training to mitigate the lapse. He says the review will be done by Nov. 15.

Three major joint military drills were scrapped this year as part of a broader effort to push for diplomatic progress with North Korea.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he is not yet concerned about a loss of combat capability. He says they may have to make changes to make sure those capabilities aren’t eroded, but so far it is not a worry.

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