Trump wants to stop provocative 'war games' with South Korea

The US-South Korean exercise calendar hits a high point every year

In return for the U.S. commitments, Kim Jong-un signed a joint statement committing to denuclearisation, but analysts say it was vaguely worded and included commitments Pyongyang had made several times. Yet so much has happened so quickly that arguments and viewpoints of just last week suddenly seem old.

Last year, about 50,000 South Korean and 17,500 US troops participated in Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, billed as the world's largest command-and-control exercise and aimed at defending against a North Korean attack. "But we're giving him a chance to survive again after we did so with Kim Jong-il", wrote another, referring to previous peace overtures to the North Korean leader's father.

The main divisions in South Korea trace established political lines.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday also released a statement on the DPRK-U.S. summit, describing the joint statement as "a historic event that has helped break down the last remaining Cold War legacy on earth".

But Mr Trump's announcement of an end to joint war games caught South Korea by surprise.

South Korea will be looking for clarity from Mike Pompeo on key security issues raised by the Trump-Kim summit, when the U.S. secretary of state visits Seoul on Wednesday. Rights activists complain that Moon and Trump are letting the North off the hook over its atrocious record of abuses and repression. Fiscal-minded South Koreans wonder if possible reunification could drain the South's treasury.

And the list goes on.

He called Trump "President Evil" at the U.N. General Assembly previous year, but such rhetoric is usually out of character for him, according to former counterparts and colleagues.

"At this current point, there is a need to discern the exact meaning and intent of President Trump's comments", Seoul's Defense Ministry said, adding that there have been no discussions yet with Washington on modifying drills set for August.

Food Twitter Roasts Trump and Kim Jong-un Over Summit Lunch
Bottom line: "Trump wanted to make it look like he did something big, whether he did something big or not". Trump also admitted, as shown in video from C-SPAN, that he could be wrong about North Korea.

We support North Korea efforts, won't engage on comments
President Donald Trump attacked America's closest allies in tweets after leaving the meeting in Canada. He did not specify which of Trudeau's statements he considered false.

Singapore summit a 'crucial and necessary step'
Trump said he urged Kim and other North Korean officials to watch a four-minute video produced before the Singapore summit. But many agreements have been made in the past with North Korea that have later fallen apart.

Now that the summit is over, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is busy working on implementing the summit's agenda. But the statement did not specify his North Korean counterpart by name, saying it would be a "relevant, high-level" official.

With both Trump and Kim now having exchanged invitations to each other's countries, the U.S. president sees a promising personal relationship with his North Korean counterpart as the key to further progress. "This person is not a wise representative for the U.S". A favored US slogan in South Korea is "ready to fight tonight".

The country's defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, said drills and the USA military presence in South Korea were "vital to security in East Asia".

"I think it is very provocative".

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

"The war games are very expensive", Trump said. "This summit and the dialogues that follow will definitely put us into greater danger". He's wearing white gloves, which only makes the gesture stand out even more.

Why is Kim seeking nuclear-armed missiles capable of reaching the United States?

In his second and last telephone conversation with Mr Trump in just two days, Moon offered to discuss a joint excavation programme with North Korea to recover the remains of U.S. soldiers killed or captured in the Korean War, Cheong Wa Dae said earlier.

The straight-faced Prime Minister replied grumpily: 'Well, there aren't any American troops in North Korea'.

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