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

Who gained and who lost what from the Trump Kim summit

The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Tuesday that it had received "no updated guidance" yet related to the regular exercises with South Korea that President Donald Trump said he will stop.

South Korea's Presidential Blue House said it needed to "to find out the precise meaning or intentions" of Trump's statement, while adding that it was willing to "explore various measures to help the talks move forward more smoothly".

Colonel Rob Manning, another spokesman, said: "We are going to be aligned with the president", while noting that the readiness of USA forces would remain "paramount". "I think we just need to continue to be concerned about whether or not North Korea is going to stand by its word".

Tuesday saw Trump describe Kim as "a very talented man" and say he had "developed a very special bond" with the DPRK leader.

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In a statement, White later said the Pentagon "welcomes the positive news coming out of the summit and fully supports the ongoing, diplomatically led efforts with" North Korea.

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta urged President Trump to heed caution while making concessions during negotiations with North Korea until leader Kim Jong Un begins to take steps toward denuclearizing the peninsula. "That's not part of the equation right now".

The U.S. has stationed combat troops in South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 war and has used them in a variety of large-scale drills created to sharpen skills and test troops' ability to operate effectively with their South Korean partners. Mattis' chief spokeswoman, Dana W. White, told reporters he was "in full alignment" with Trump and had been consulted in advance on all aspects of the Singapore talks.

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.

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"There were no surprises", she said.

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. "So I think it's probably well for everybody to maintain a healthy skepticism until we see those actions taken".

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

In a later interview with the Voice of America, Trump said the North Koreas were "very happy" about his decision to freeze the exercises "because it is so provocative".

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North Korea last month broke off a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in a two-week military exercise with the United States.

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