Latest Mark Esper News

China urges US to “stop flexing muscles” in South China Sea

Nov. 18, 2019 5:10 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — China on Monday urged the U.S. military to “stop flexing muscles” in the disputed South China Sea, a point of persistent friction in a relationship both sides said was generally improving. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense, Col. Wu Qian, told reporters in Bangkok...

Kim Jong Un supervises another N. Korean military drill

Nov. 17, 2019 11:54 PM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised a parachuting drill of military sharpshooters and vowed to build an “invincible army,” displaying more defiance even as the United States and South Korea called off their own exercises to create space for nuclear diplomacy....

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...