President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that the United States will end its “war games” with South Korea, this after meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore for what has been a historic meeting of the two nations on the world stage.
The “war games” are held annually with South Korea, and North Korea has often seen the military drills as practice for invasion of its country and war; the drills are a point of contention, and North Korea has lashed out in the past when drills take place. Last year, when North Korea was threatening to bomb Guam, the drills – and the rhetoric between the two nations – ramped up.
On Tuesday, Trump said the military exercises were “very provocative” and “inappropriate,” given the new relationship that the U.S. is trying to forge with North Korea.
.@POTUS: “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.” https://t.co/3Pfc9AMVxE pic.twitter.com/UuLrL21NVy
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 12, 2018
Trump pointed out that not having the exercises will also save money.
EXCLUSIVE: President Trump tells @GStephanopoulos “I wanted to stop the war games, I thought they were very provocative, but I also think they’re very expensive,” when asked if he discussed pulling U.S. troops out of South Korea with Kim Jong Un. https://t.co/ANdmOzpPd9 pic.twitter.com/k015aM4PH9
— ABC News (@ABC) June 12, 2018
South Korea was still trying to make sense of what Trump announced on Tuesday, an official said.
“We need to try to understand what President Trump said,” a spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, while noting that South Korea understands that progress must be made with North Korea.
“We believe we need to pursue various measures to efficiently move the dialogue forward during serious ongoing talks to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and to establish good relations between North Korea and the United States,” he said.
Trump and Kim met in Singapore on Tuesday morning there, first privately with only translators and later in a bilateral meeting with other officials.
After more than four hours of talks, Trump and Kim held a press conference, and the President announced that the two nations had come to an agreement, but he did not give specifics.
The President has “developed a very special bond” with Kim, he also said.
Trump said the North Korean dictator “reaffirmed” his commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“We’re ready to write a new chapter between our nations,” the President said.
At the press conference after their talks, the President held a copy of the aforementioned agreement between the U.S. and North Korea.
The agreement was not immediately released, but it is said to include a pledge by the U.S. to “provide security guarantees” for North Korea.
“Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the agreement says, according to reports.
“President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world,” the agreement says.
As for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Trump said the processed will be started “very, very quickly,” while also reiterating that this process, and the forging of a new relationship between the two nations, will take more meetings and, ultimately, time.
But it was clear after their first meeting – the first time a sitting U.S. President has met with a North Korean leader – was successful.
“Today is the beginning of an arduous process. Our eyes are wide open. But peace is always worth the effort,” Trump said.