Monday, 17 December, 2018

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

President Trump appears to have signalled an end to annual military drills with South Korea Image President Trump appears to have signalled an end to annual military drills with South Korea
Patty Aguilar | 15 June, 2018, 19:31

The subject of North Korea's human rights abuses was not mentioned, and President Trump also announced that the USA would stop its longstanding joint military exercises with South Korea, which he called "very provocative".

"Well, it was not easy to get here", Kim said.

At least one group of former North Koreans now living in Canada say Trump's new willingness to foster closer ties with Kim are risky, and criticized the president for focusing on denuclearization rather than seeking answers about human rights in the country.

The meeting was the first time a sitting United States president has met North Korea's leader.

He said he would halt USA military exercises in South Korea, something widely seen as a concession.

The president, however, said the sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear tests will remain for now.

What was accomplished during this historic meeting was the signing of a comprehensive document, with the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would stop "expensive, provocative" war games with the South, following his historic summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The formal document-signing, which also included an agreement to work to repatriate remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action from the Korean War, followed a series of meetings at a luxury Singapore resort. "I am hoping for denuclearization and a peace agreement and also for North Korea's economy to open up".

"It marks the beginning of a still long and arduous journey, but we are hopeful because the start has been very positive, very good", he said.

China, North Korea's only major diplomatic and economic ally, also said the meeting created a "new history".

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"He's denuking the whole place, and he's going to start very quickly. I mean, they're going to be getting rid of sites". We are sitting with (National Security Advisor) John Bolton next week to go over the details, to get this stuff done.

Bloomberg reported that Trump's departure time was moved up in response to Kim's plans to leave Singapore shortly after the summit.

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment many people never expected to see, Kim said many of those watching would think it was a scene from a "science fiction movie".

Trump said he was very proud of what took place today and the two leaders would "take care of a very unsafe problem for the world".

"I was shocked when he called the exercises 'provocative, ' a very unlikely word to be used by a United States president", the official said.

"Well, he is very talented", Mr Trump said.

The city-state of Singapore, a mercantile nation that has maintained robust ties with both sides throughout the years, hosted the two leaders at the luxurious Capella Hotel in Sentosa island.

The two leaders held one-on-one meeting for around 45-minutes with just translators present.

Trump showed the video at a news conference Tuesday.

The announcement has provoked displeasure in Seoul, but it is music to the ear of the North Korean regime, which has managed to secure concessions from the United States without necessarily agreeing to a clear denuclearisation plan. They were then joined by small delegations of advisers for a working lunch.

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