Larsen Leads HASC Members in Calling for Resumption of Military Exercises with South Korea

Jan 30, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan calling on DoD to work with South Korea to resume bilateral exercises with the Republic of Korea Armed Forces.

“Since the June 2018 Singapore summit, the United States has suspended ULCHI FREEDOM GUARDIAN, VIGILANT ACE, and other smaller exercises with the ROK Armed Forces. Your office has characterized this suspension as a ‘good faith gesture to enable diplomacy.’ But with the International Atomic Energy Agency assessment that the North Korean nuclear program is continuing and developing further, we believe it would be appropriate to resume exercises in coordination with the ROK.

“Ultimately, the timing and scope of bilateral exercises should be dictated by national security interests, not the whims of the Pyongyang regime. And we do not view military exercises as contrary to ongoing diplomatic efforts. By demonstrating the U.S. commitment to a treaty ally and promoting readiness, military exercises with the ROK Armed Forces are complementary to joint efforts to pressure North Korea to reduce or eliminate its nuclear program.”

13 HASC Members joined the letter: Rep. Elaine Luria, Rep. Katie Hill, Rep. Susan Davis, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Gilbert Ray Cisneros, Jr., Rep. Filemon Vela, Rep. Andy Kim, Rep. Jason Crow, Rep. John Garamendi, Rep. Seth Moulton, Rep. William Keating and Rep. Salud Carbajal.

You can read the full letter here.