Trump's halt of 'war games' in Korea could weaken defenses

FILE - In this March 30, 2015, file photo, marines of South Korea, right, and the U.S aim their weapons near amphibious assault vehicles during U.S.-S

FILE - In this July 6, 2016, file photo, South Korean and U.S. marines aim their machine guns during a joint military exercise between the two countri

FILE - In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after la

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's decision to suspend major U.S. military exercises in South Korea could weaken allied defenses, depending on the length and scope of the hiatus.

But the potential damage seems even greater in the diplomatic arena, given Trump's failure to consult allies on this in advance.

Analysts with experience in U.S.-Asia policy were shaken by Trump's characterization of the military drills as provocations and "war games." Those are terms the North Koreans have used for years to argue that the U.S. is a hostile nation and to justify its development of nuclear missiles and long-range missiles.

The Pentagon still has not explained publicly which specific military exercises will be postponed or canceled.