Moon Seong Mook, a former South Korean military official, said Trump's comments on the drills confirmed what many in South Korea had feared all along - that North Korea would attempt to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul and gain substantial concessions from an unconventional US president who thinks much less of the traditional alliance than his predecessors.
Donald Trump during a signing ceremony with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore.
The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S. -DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged on Tuesday to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and signed a "comprehensive" document at a landmark summit in Singapore.
Nor were there any U.S. concessions on sanctions relief, normalisation of relations absent progress in human rights or a more extensive security guarantee to the regime than previously provided, he said. "We don't have high expectations, although we have high hopes", she said. Three planes took off in North Korea at about an hour's interval on Sunday - an IL-76, an Air China Boeing 747 and an ancient Ilyushin IL62 - leaving watchers in the dark about which one Kim was on.
If Mattis was aware that Trump was going to announce a suspension of military exercises, he apparently did not share that information with the South Koreans or with the military organization most directly affected: U.S. Forces Korea. Col. Jennifer Lovett, a spokeswoman at the US military command in South Korea, said the command "has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises".
But one stunning step already taken by Trump - the suspension of U.S. "This is a win for North Korea, which seems to have yielded nothing".
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Kim and Trump invited each other to their respective countries and both leaders "gladly accepted", KCNA reported.
"They are tremendously expensive, the amount of money we spend on that is incredible and South Korea contributes but not 100 percent which is certainly a subject that we need to talk to them about also and that has to do with the military expenditures and also the trade".
Quite a bit, compared to the U.S.
"In the short term, President Trump can claim he defused a very unsafe situation, but it's going to come back to haunt the United States and its allies because basically Trump has unintentionally, but in real terms, given a blank check, a free pass, to Kim to carry on, to basically continue what he's doing", as sanctions enforcement is eased, Lee said. "The new element is that we agreed to stop our annual exercise cycle with our South Korean allies".
Asked about the issue after the meeting, President Trump said he'd been lobbied about the issue even as a presidential candidate. The president said the drills cost the US a "tremendous amount of money", and that South Korea hasn't always chipped in enough.
When asked to clarify Pence's message on whether the joint military exercises would continue, Gardner, who leads a Senate panel overseeing policy toward North Korea, responded: "I think there are certain exercises that will continue, yes".
"I don't think he knows much about, quite frankly, anything when it comes to foreign affairs, national security, even a thing like the war games", said former CIA Director John Brennan of Trump on MSNBC's "Deadline: White House" on Tuesday.