[Ed. – If this report is accurate — and there is no reason to assume it’s not — the exercise halt is likely to function, however it’s intended, as an act of the rankest cowardice. Keep in mind: the best way to prepare Combined U.S.-South Korean forces to counter aggression from the North would actually be under cover of an ongoing exercise. Stopping the exercise is unwise for multiple reasons. (H/t: John Hayward, Breitbart)]
The officials say the U.S. is monitoring the situation, but hasn’t taken any other military steps. It was unclear if the exercise would resume.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday declared his front-line troops in a “quasi-state of war” and ordered them to prepare for battle against South Korea in response to an exchange of artillery fire on the border Thursday.
The annual exercise began Monday and was slated to end next Friday.