Published: Wed, June 13, 2018

Trump's vow to end US-South Korea drills catches Pentagon off guard

Trump's vow to end US-South Korea drills catches Pentagon off guard

The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Tuesday that it had received "no updated guidance" yet related to the regular exercises with South Korea that President Donald Trump said he will stop.

The vice president "didn't say this at the Senate lunch today", she said of Gardner's remarks.

"Plus, I think it's very provocative", he noted, adding that "at some point" he wanted to withdraw USA troops from the South.

While the Singapore agreement calls for a "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", the term CVID is glaringly absent.

One South Korean official said he initially thought Trump had mis-spoke.

"The greatest achievement of the summit was that Trump's comments show his confidence in resolving any issues [with Kim]", Nam said in a brief meeting with a small group of reporters in Singapore.

Trump and Kim met in Singapore on Tuesday for their countries' first-ever summit talks. But, Koreans are anxious they could be affected by the summit discussion.

"My first question is whether our allies, the South Koreans, were consulted in advance of suspending these military exercises", he told Reuters.


On Tuesday, Trump and Kim announced an agreement committing the U.S.to unspecified "security guarantees" in exchange for the eventual denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Chairman Kim and President Trump put pen to paper following an historic meeting in Singapore.

"I think at the right time, he'll absolutely be coming to the White House, yes", he said.

Since the 1970s, the United States and South Korea have held a major summertime exercise called Ulchi Freedom Guardian that involves tens of thousands of troops. "Well I think without the rhetoric we wouldn't have been here".

NBC reporter Kelly O'Donnell later added that the vice president's office was saying that Pence meant only that "routine training" with the South Korean military would continue, while the biannual military exercises would be canceled.

The president said he and Kim "got along very well" from "the beginning" of the summit.

"What is most troubling about all this is that the US gave up something tangible, namely, US-RoK military exercises, in exchange", he added, using the abbreviation for South Korea's official name.

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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