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Trump says to stop ‘expensive’, ‘provocative’ South Korea war games

Singapore, June 12 – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States was stopping “very provocative” and costly military exercises with South Korea to facilitate denuclearisation negotiations with North Korea.

The U. S. and its ally South Korea hold regular military exercises to the fury of North Korea, which has long seen the drills as preparations to invade it.

“The war games are very expensive, we pay for the majority of them,” Trump told a news conference in Singapore after a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“Under the circumstances, that we’re negotiating … I think it’s inappropriate to be having war games.”

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula while Washington committed to provide security guarantees for its old enemy.

But a joint statement signed at the end of their historic summit in Singapore gave few details on how either goal would be achieved.

“President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” the two leaders said in a statement.

DPRK is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the formal name of North Korea.

Trump said he expected the denuclearisation process to start “very, very quickly”. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials would hold follow-up negotiations “at the earliest possible date”, the statement said.

Political analysts said the summit had yielded only symbolic results and nothing tangible.

“It is unclear if further negotiations will lead to the end goal of denuclearisation,” said Anthony Ruggiero, senior fellow of Washington’s Foundation for Defence of Democracies think tank.

“This looks like a restatement of where we left negotiations more than 10 years ago and not a major step forward.”

NAN reports that the U. S. and South Korea began their annual joint military exercises on

Both the U. S. and South Korea insist that the drills are defensive in nature, but North Korea has long condemned the joint exercises as rehearsals for invasion.

During such drills, North Korea has often escalated its warlike rhetoric and lashed out with missile and other weapons tests.

U.S. President Donald Trump said a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday had gone “better than anybody could have expected”.

He also said they would sign a document following talks on ways to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim stood silently alongside Trump as he spoke to media during a post-lunch stroll through the gardens of the Singapore hotel where the summit was held, but the North Korean leader had earlier described their meeting as a “a good prelude to peace”.

Both men walked to Trump’s limousine and looked in at the rear seat, with Trump apparently showing Kim something inside.

They then resumed their walk.

“A lot of progress – really very positive. I think better than anybody could have expected. Top of the line, very good.

“We’re going now for a signing,” Trump told newsmen, without giving details on what would be signed.

Should they succeed in making a diplomatic breakthrough, it could bring lasting change to the security landscape of Northeast Asia, like the visit of former U.S. President Richard Nixon to China in 1972 led to the transformation of China.

Both men had looked serious as they got out of their limousines for the summit at the Capella hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa, a resort island with luxury hotels, a casino, manmade beaches and a Universal Studios theme park.

But, with cameras of the world’s press trained on them, they displayed an initial atmosphere of bonhomie as they met on the verandah of the Capella, a refurbished 19th century British regimental officers’ mess.

After a handshake, they were soon smiling and holding each other by the arm, before Trump guided Kim to the library where they held a meeting with only their interpreters.

Trump had said on Saturday he would know within a minute of meeting Kim whether he would reach a deal.

Inside, they sat alongside each other against a backdrop of North Korean and U.S. flags, with Kim beaming broadly as the U.S. president gave him a thumbs up.

The combatants of the 1950 to 1953 Korean War are technically still at war, as the conflict, in which millions of people died, was concluded only with a truce.

After initial exchanges lasting around 40 minutes, Trump and Kim emerged, walking side-by-side through the colonnaded hotel before entering a meeting room, where they were joined by their most senior officials.

Kim was heard telling Trump through a translator: “I think the entire world is watching this moment.

Many people in the world will think of this as a scene from a fantasy…science fiction movie.”(Reuters)

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