Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Trump White House sows confusion on South Korean 'war games' pledge

Trump White House sows confusion on South Korean 'war games' pledge

The US president said he would end "provocative" annual joint military exercises with Seoul, and spoke of his hope to one day withdraw the 32,000 American soldiers stationed in South Korea.

"In coordination with our ROK partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense (DoD) and/or Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM)", the statement added.

The summit outcome stands in contrast to the war of words between the two men in the past, which included tough rhetoric from Trump warning the North Korean leader he would face "fire and fury".

The summit between the two leaders occurred on Monday evening U.S. time and Tuesday in Singapore, ending with Trump and Kim vowing to "denuke" North Korea. According to current reports, it ended amicably with the two shaking hands and smiling, though details of their plan still need to be hashed out.

-South Korean military drills - and wants to remove the 28,500 USA troops stationed in the South as a deterrent against North Korea.

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.

Since the 1970s, the United States and South Korea have held a major summertime exercise called Ulchi Freedom Guardian that involves tens of thousands of troops.

Colonel Rob Manning, another spokesperson, said: "We are going to be aligned with the president", while noting that the readiness of United States forces would remain "paramout".

Wreckage of missing FlySax aircraft located in Njambini
Two female pilots are among those missing after their plane is believed to have crashed within Aberdare forest, Nyandarua County . The Cesna C208 plane with registration number 5Y-CAC had ten people on board.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in Singapore on June 12, 2018, in this photo released by the AFP.

"We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money", Trump told reporters, adding he had agreed to stop the "war games" because he considers them "very provocative".

It appears follow-up talks to the North Korea-US summit will be essential, as the agreement reached on Tuesday on North Korea's denuclearization was made at a broad level without details.

But Panetta, who previously worked for President Barack Obama, said there are a "huge number of issues" that will actually involve the denuclearization of North Korea, which owns an estimated 20 to 60 nuclear weapons with about 141 sites that can produce them.

Trump and Kim met privately from 9:05am local time for 48 minutes flanked only by their translators, then broke for a wider bilateral meeting with aides, a meeting expected to last 90 minutes, leading into lunch at 11:30am (3:30 GMT).

Kelly Magsamen, a national security specialist with the Center for American Progress, said Tuesday's agreement contained no specific commitments by North Korea.

But it turns out, the issue was discussed and will be again in the future. Last year, it involved about 17,500 US service members, drawing in 3,000 from outside South Korea.

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