I Felt ‘Foolish’ Calling Kim ‘Rocket Man’ but ‘Had No Choice’

I Felt ‘Foolish’ Calling Kim ‘Rocket Man’ but ‘Had No Choice’

"We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money, unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should", Trump said in Singapore. He also said he'd like to remove all 28,500 US troops stationed in the South, although he made clear this was an option for the future, not a part of current negotiations.

US Forces Korea (USFK), which comprises about 28 500 troops permanently based in South Korea, received no immediate new guidance on upcoming joint training exercises, including so-called Ulchi Freedom Guardian scheduled for later this year.

The Pentagon was not immediately able to flesh out Trump's remarks about suspending drills, a move the US military has long resisted.

But US officials told AFP they were taken aback by the news, and Pentagon personnel spent the morning in meetings discussing what could amount to an epic shift in the US military's posture in South Korea. "We will provide additional information as it becomes available", Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, spokesperson for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, told the Washington Times.

"This is just a beginning and there may be many difficulties ahead, but we will never go back to the past again and never give up on this bold journey", Moon said.

"I think without the rhetoric we wouldn't have been here".

South Korea said last month that the issue of USA troops stationed there was unrelated to any future peace treaty with North Korea and that American forces should stay even if such an agreement were signed.

Regarding Trump's remarks, Nam Gwan-pyo, a deputy director of Seoul's presidential National Security Office, said that there is "no change at all" regarding the exercise issue. "The country will welcome reducing the military exercises, as it could ease the decades-long tension on the Korean peninsula. But at the same time it will worry in terms of the possible negative consequences, as the reduction could scare South Koreans".

If the country did something "very bad and very threatening and awful", then past presidents wouldn't react, Trump commented during the interview that followed his Singapore summit with Kim.

Trump also said in the interview he believed the North Korean leader would start to work toward dismantling his country's nuclear program "virtually immediately".

Following the Singapore summit, wherein Trump castigated the exercises as "provocative", no party has effectively distinguished the difference between what constitutes "readiness training and training exchanges" and what constitutes "military exercises".

The presidential office said the measures were particularly needed at a time "when a variety of serious dialogues have been held between the North and the USA for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the establishment of relations".

The meeting in Singapore produced a handful of commitments from the Kim regime, including a restated intent to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

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.

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

He noted, however, that exercises could easily be restarted if needed. "My second question is, what did we receive in return for this concession?"

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