World

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

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

After a reporter claimed Vice President Mike Pence said military exercises with South Korea would continue contrary to President Donald Trump's declaration they would end, Pence's spokespeople immediately argued that was false.

South Korea's Presidential Blue House said it needed to "to find out the precise meaning or intentions" of Trump's statement, while adding that it was willing to "explore various measures to help the talks move forward more smoothly". "So, I think the rhetoric - I hated to do it, sometimes I felt foolish doing it - but we had no choice", he told Hannity.

That deal reportedly includes a commitment to a "complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula aimed at establishing a "peace regime".

"We're not there yet", he said. "That's not part of the equation right now". He added that the issue requires consultations between the allies.

The U.S. has stationed combat troops in South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 war and has used them in a variety of large-scale drills created to sharpen skills and test troops' ability to operate effectively with their South Korean partners.

North Korea regularly calls the military exercises provocative preparations for a northward invasion, and numerous scariest standoffs in recent years on the Korean Peninsula have happened when the drills were being staged.




The Commander-in-Chief spoke with Hannity just hours after his face-to-face meeting with Kim Jong Un; explaining his use of heated language when describing the communist leader, whom he referred to at the United Nations as a little "Rocket Man".

"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. "So I think it's probably well for everybody to maintain a healthy skepticism until we see those actions taken".

"There were no surprises", she said. -South Korean military exercises "provocative".

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.

MSNBC's special coverage of the Trump-Kim summit finished second in total viewers with 2.378 million.

USA officials and the North Korean state news agency struck a hopeful tone as the meeting approached, while negotiators from both countries met privately in the last hours to iron out agreements, such as over the definition of denuclearisation and the terms under which Pyongyang might agree to dismantle its nuclear arsenal.


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