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

Who gained and who lost what from the Trump Kim summit

After warning one another of nuclear annihilation, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to work out a deal that includes US security guarantees in exchange for de-nuclearisation.

Following the unprecedented meeting in Singapore, Trump stunned observers when he said continuing the exercises routinely held between the US and South Korea would be "inappropriate" while Washington fleshes out a comprehensive deal with Pyongyang.

In the wake of Trump's unexpected, nearly offhand comments to reporters, the Pentagon had nothing to say about the future of the war games.

The comments could fundamentally change the way the United States, whose alliance with Seoul was forged after a 1950 surprise attack by the North started the Korean War, operates in South Korea.

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta urged President Trump to heed caution while making concessions during negotiations with North Korea until leader Kim Jong Un begins to take steps toward denuclearizing the peninsula. He added that the issue requires consultations between the allies. But, Koreans are anxious they could be affected by the summit discussion.

U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration on Tuesday that he meant to end joint military exercises in Korea seemed to be news to both South Korean and U.S. military officials. "Was he committing to end all military exercises or was he committing to end just the most provocative ones?"

If the showy drills do end, it would be a concession on the part of the president to Kim. "So I think it's probably well for everybody to maintain a healthy skepticism until we see those actions taken".

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Trump has now essentially adopted the standard North Korean line, calling the military exercises a "provocative" drain of money and announcing they would stop while he continues talks with Kim, whom he repeatedly praised as a solid negotiating partner.

Trump speaks to Kim as the pair prepare to begin their closed-door talks.

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

"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.

However, it was only in 1992 that the U.S. and North Korea rekindled diplomatic.

"He's got a very good personality, he's amusing, and he's very, very smart", Trump said of Kim in the interview that aired Tuesday night.

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