Latest Mark Esper News

US, S Korea postpone joint exercise criticized by N Korea

Nov. 17, 2019 3:49 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday the United States and South Korea have indefinitely postponed a joint military exercise in an “act of goodwill” toward North Korea. The move comes even as Japan’s defense minister, whose country feels threatened by repeated...

Trump intervenes in military justice cases, grants pardons

Nov. 15, 2019 9:26 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has pardoned a former U.S. Army commando set to stand trial next year in the killing of a suspected Afghan bomb-maker and a former Army lieutenant convicted of murder for ordering his men to fire upon three Afghans, killing two, the White House announced late...

North Korea’s Kim attends military air show, lauds pilots

Nov. 15, 2019 8:28 PM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday said leader Kim Jong Un attended a flight demonstration of military aircraft at an airfield on the country’s eastern coast where he instructed combat pilots to acquire “great idea and tactics” against enemies “armed to the...

US commander: Partnership with Kurds against IS still strong

Nov. 15, 2019 12:07 PM EST

ERBIL, Iraq (AP) — A senior U.S. coalition commander said Friday the partnership with Syrian Kurdish forces remains strong and focused on fighting the Islamic State group, despite an expanding Turkish incursion into areas under Kurdish control. The U.S.-Syrian Kurdish relationship, which dates back to...

Esper says S Korea wealthy enough to pay more for US troops

Nov. 15, 2019 3:34 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday pressed Washington’s case that longtime ally South Korea must pay a bigger share of the cost of having U.S. troops on its soil. “This is a very strong alliance we have, but Korea is a wealthy country and could and should...

Esper defends as fair Pentagon contract disputed by Amazon

Nov. 15, 2019 3:13 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday he was certain that the awarding of a $10 billion cloud-computing contract to Microsoft instead of Amazon was done fairly. The Pentagon awarded the contract to Microsoft in late October, and Amazon said there was “unmistakable...

North Korea say US offered to resume nuke talks in December

Nov. 14, 2019 8:14 PM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Thursday said the United States has proposed a resumption of stalled nuclear negotiations in December as they approach an end-of-year deadline set by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the Trump administration to offer an acceptable deal to salvage the talks. In a...

US military academy athletes can now delay service, go pro

Nov. 14, 2019 6:56 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper has opened the door for athletes at the nation’s military academies to play professional sports after they graduate, and delay their active-duty service. Esper signed a memo last Friday laying out the new guidelines, which says the athletes must get...

Esper: US could alter military drills to boost NKorea talks

Nov. 13, 2019 2:23 PM EST

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that he is open to the possibility of altering American military activities in South Korea if it would help advance a diplomatic deal with North Korea to eliminate its nuclear program. In an interview with reporters flying...

Pentagon chief tries to keep Asia in focus with second trip

Nov. 13, 2019 12:16 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barely four months into his tenure, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is making his second trek across the Pacific. And yet it is the Middle East - most recently a near-war with Iran and an actual war in Syria - that in Washington commands more attention and demands more American troops....