Trump ‘can’t jump ahead’ in North Korea negotiations: Leon Panetta

Trump ‘can’t jump ahead’ in North Korea negotiations: Leon Panetta

Joint military drills between the United States and South Korea have long aggravated Kim's regime-the North Korean leader even threatened to withdraw from the Singapore summit following a two-week annual military exercise in May incorporating roughly 100 warplanes.

Trump's announcement that the USA would stop military exercises, his description of those drills as "provocative" and his suggestion that he wants to pull USA troops out at some point are "all things that Trump is putting on the table as concessions, all in exchange for some vague promises by the North Koreans", said Paul Haenle, a former China director at the White House National Security Council in the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations.

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".

A slight smile crosses Kim's face as Trump places a hand on the North Korean Leader's arm.

Trump also seemed annoyed that US bomber aircraft make six-plus hour flights from the Pacific island of Guam to the Korean peninsula as part of its exercise routine.

"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. "That's not part of the equation right now". "That is we're prepared to take actions that will provide them sufficient certainty that they can be comfortable that denuclearization isn't something that ends badly for them, indeed, just the opposite, that it leads to a brighter better future for the North Korean people".

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

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Stephen Pomper, US program director at the Crisis Group, said Trump had sown confusion by announcing the end of drills without first checking with the South Koreans.

Donald Trump during a signing ceremony with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore.

"The American military presence in South Korea wouldn't mean much if the militaries don't practice through joint drills", said Moon, now a senior analyst for the Seoul-based Korea Research Institute for National Strategy.

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.

"There is no single change in the suspension of the South-U.S. joint military exercise compared to the past", Nam said.

MSNBC's special coverage of the Trump-Kim summit finished second in total viewers with 2.378 million.

Still, he credited the summit for starting a diplomatic process between North Korea and the United States.

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