Trump Agreed to Cancel South Korea War Games Without Informing the Military

Trump Agreed to Cancel South Korea War Games Without Informing the Military

President Donald Trump's abrupt announcement that he will suspend USA military drills in South Korea appeared to catch the Pentagon and the Seoul government flat-footed, and it contradicted a pillar of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' campaign to make US troops more combat-ready.

He said the Trump administration didn't ask him to play any role in the Singapore summit.

Moon Seong Mook, a former South Korean military official, said Trump's comments on the drills confirmed what many in South Korea had feared all along - that North Korea would attempt to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul and gain substantial concessions from an unconventional US president who thinks much less of the traditional alliance than his predecessors.

If implemented, the end of military exercises could be one of the most concrete and controversial moves to arise from Trump's summit with Kim, who pledged to pursue denuclearization but offered no details.

In exchange, Mr. Trump abruptly agreed to cancel joint military drills with South Korea, praising the progress made between the two historic adversaries.

A spokeswoman for USA military forces in Korea said they had not received any direction to cease joint military drills.

A joint exercise earlier this year involving more than 300,000 South Korean and USA troops was delayed to accommodate the Winter Olympics and was ultimately abbreviated by two weeks compared to the previous year. Trump was giving denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula "a red-hot go".

"I share president Trump's assessment of that when he thanked the leaders of Japan and South Korea and China for the solidarity they've shown". Foal Eagle is created to simulate war scenarios and involves ground, air, naval and special operations forces.

But Trump said the US would not reduce the presence of some 32,000 USA soldiers in South Korea.

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"The drills and the U.S. military stationed in South Korea play a vital role in East Asia's security", Japan's defence minister Itsunori Onodera said when asked about Trump's surprise announcement. Picture taken on April 9, 2017. Rodman later told the AP in a phone interview that the call had come from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. In a separate statement, White said Mattis was "fully aligned" with Trump.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement released by the state news agency Xinhua on Wednesday that Chinese officials and Pompeo would discuss important bilateral and global issues.

"It was not part of the declaration, so we have to take the declaration as being the areas of agreement and build on that", she said.

On Wednesday Japan's defence chief said the USA military's presence in South Korea and joint military exercises were "vital" for east Asian security.

Seoul-based Maeil Business Newspaper reported Kim Jong Un said during a private summit with South Korea that he saw a "Vietnam-like" opening of the country, probably referring to Hanoi in 1986.

Bishop said the sanctions against North Korea remained in place and would not be removed until such time as North Korea had proven it has dismantled its nuclear weapons program.

China, North Korea's main ally, accounts for more than 90 percent of the isolated country's trade, and China's participation is widely seen as crucial for global sanctions to have any bite.

Photographs of the agreement signed by both leaders, who have now left Sentosa, reveal Kim Jong-un "reaffirmed his unwavering commitment" to denuclearisation adding the "world will see a major change". But between 1996 and 2005, joint U.S.

In the face of the North's constant protest, the allies' militaries have defended the exercises as purely defensive in nature.

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