Latest Mark Esper News

Esper accuses China of intimidating smaller Asian nations

Nov. 20, 2019 6:20 AM EST

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday accused China of using coercion and intimidation against smaller Asian nations to impose its will in the South China Sea. He urged Vietnam and others in the region to push back. “We will not accept attempts to assert unlawful...

Seoul faces major decision over military pact with Tokyo

Nov. 20, 2019 1:25 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Squeezed between a growing North Korean threat and a shaky alliance with the United States, South Korea must decide this week whether its national pride and deep frustrations with Japan are worth killing a major symbol of their security cooperation with Washington. After...

Esper urges ‘very public posture’ on Chinese sea claims

Nov. 19, 2019 7:35 AM EST

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The U.S. defense chief on Tuesday urged governments affected by China’s sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea “to take a very public posture” and assert their sovereign rights, adding that acting collectively is the best way to send a message...

N. Korea snubs US move to postpone military drill with South

Nov. 19, 2019 2:30 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Tuesday it won’t consider a recent U.S. decision to postpone a joint military exercise with South Korea a major concession that can bring it back to nuclear talks. Senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol said the U.S. must completely scrap that military...

US, South Korea cut short meeting over sharing defense costs

Nov. 19, 2019 1:51 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. and South Korean officials on Tuesday publicly acknowledged the allies remain far apart in negotiations for increasing South Korea’s contributions to the costs for maintaining the American military presence on its soil. U.S. negotiator James DeHart said the U.S. side...

North Korea says it won’t give Trump a summit for free

Nov. 18, 2019 6:00 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Monday responded to a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump that hinted at another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying it has no interest in giving Trump further meetings to brag about unless it gets something substantial in return. The statement by...

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...