Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Trump’s vow to end military drills with Seoul stuns a region

Who gained and who lost what from the Trump Kim summit Winston Peters urges North Korea to 'realise' denuclearisation commitment after Trump-Kim summit
Patty Aguilar | 13 June, 2018, 05:31

Nam said Seoul welcomed the news that President Trump had "sufficiently expressed" his trust in Kim.

Following Everett's statement that the drills would continue "per Sen. We don't have high expectations, although we have high hopes", she said.

Heading into Tuesday's summit, the big competing items on the table came down to what by now are popular acronyms, with the U.S. seeking the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, or CVID (complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation), and the North Korean leadership rejecting unilateral nuclear disarmament while seeking its survival, or CVIG (complete, verifiable, irreversible guarantee of North Korea's security).

The decision to end the so-called "war games" was announced following summit talks between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, for whom the exercises have been a source of irritation.

"Creating friction with a key ally with an issue like that may have been a mistake, frankly", he told AFP.

"Plus, I think it's very provocative", he noted, adding that "at some point" he wanted to withdraw USA troops from the South.

During his talk with Hannity, Trump said his inflammatory rhetoric helped spur this new meeting.

Trump said he wanted to remove the U.S. military presence from South Korea, though he provided no timeline.

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"The US armed forces will in no way stop individual and collective training, the South Korean military will continue to train and prepare as they always have", he told AFP, adding that institutional knowledge from years of drills would be retained.

Pompeo is scheduled to immediately fly to Seoul and Beijing after the summit to brief South Korean allies and Chinese officials on the discussions, reflecting the reality than any solutions in the region will need buy-in from those nations.

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.

"I think at the right time, he'll absolutely be coming to the White House, yes", he said.

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.

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

And while denuking North Korea will certainly come, it will take time.

"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.

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