Saturday, 23 June, 2018


Trump surprises with pledge to end military exercises in South Korea

President Trump walked with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island on Tuesday Evan Vucci Associated Press President Trump walked with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island on Tuesday
Bennie Garza | 13 June, 2018, 06:45

North Korea's "CVID", or complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization, had been the key goal for the Trump administration, leading up to the historic summit with North Korea, and its leader Kim Jong-un.

Speaking at a press conference following the summit, Trump said: "Now we can have hope that [the war] will soon end and it will, it will soon end". "Plus, I think it's very provocative".

Tuesday saw Trump describe Kim as "a very talented man" and say he had "developed a very special bond" with the DPRK leader. "That's not what you have to do", Trump said.

The pledge, absent from the joint statement Trump signed with Kim, appeared to come as news to both South Korea and the Pentagon.

Still, after the summit, Trump applauded the North Korean leader and said the people "love" Kim, regardless of Trump's previous remarks denouncing the regime's purported human rights abuses.

Trump's comments will be questioned by many in South Korea and beyond, with some seeing in them an effort by North Korea to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington.

"Wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-US relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era, will be exchanged at the DPRK-US summit talks", KCNA reported in English.

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.

And what "exactly was the president committing to?" he added.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said he was "uncomfortable" with the suspension of military drills, especially "if this becomes permanent in exchange for nothing".

But Daniel Davis, a retired army lieutenant colonel and fellow at the Defense Priorities military think tank, said suspending the drills would have no short-term impact on US and South Korean military readiness.

Hannity, who sat down with Trump for an interview after the summit, even compared Tuesday's event to former President Ronald Reagan's meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the height of the Cold War.

U.S. Air Force Airmen watch an F-16 Fighting Falcon take off during Exercise MAX THUNDER 17's media day at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 20, 2017.

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