Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump's vow to end military drills with Seoul stuns a region

Trump's vow to end military drills with Seoul stuns a region

During the meeting, Trump offered to end the joint military exercise between the United States and the South Korean government.

Following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Trump said at a press conference that he will stop "war games" with the South, calling them "provocative and expensive". "I think we just need to continue to be concerned about whether or not North Korea is going to stand by its word".

The president left Singapore after the two leaders signed a document stating Pyongyang would work toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". "That's not what you have to do", Trump said.

During his talk with Hannity, Trump said his inflammatory rhetoric helped spur this new meeting.

Trump and Kim met in Singapore on Tuesday for their countries' first-ever summit talks. He added that the issue requires consultations between the allies.

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Mitchell Reiss, who served as the U.S. State Department's director of policy planning from 2003-2005 and earlier negotiated with North Korea on behalf of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), echoed the idea that it was important to make such decisions hand-in-hand with South Korea.

While many North Korea experts and defectors welcome the ease in tensions between the US and North Korea, they faulted Trump for overtly praising an authoritarian leader and failing to bring up human rights violations within North Korea.

Pompeo added, President Trump is very prepared for his upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un and is eager to achieve real progress.

"The American military presence in South Korea wouldn't mean much if the militaries don't practice through joint drills", said Moon, now a senior analyst for the Seoul-based Korea Research Institute for National Strategy. "Well I think without the rhetoric we wouldn't have been here".

"Everybody is interested in the summit right now", she said.

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Republican Senator Marco Rubio said he was "uncomfortable" with the suspension of military drills, especially "if this becomes permanent in exchange for nothing".

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said it was "troubling" that Trump had agreed to suspend joint drills without making any reference to North Korea dialling back its conventional military threat.

"The Singapore summit statement is essentially aspirational: no definitions of denuclearization, no timelines, no details as to verification", Haass said on Twitter.

A favoured US slogan in South Korea is "ready to fight tonight".

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