Trump White House sows confusion on South Korean 'war games' pledge

Trump agreed to end U.S.

Other current and former US defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters they were surprised by the announcement and expressed concern about lowering the readiness of American military personnel on the Korean peninsula.

"There's no history of this family ever having not lied to the West", Shapiro said.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told The Associated Press that North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons would send a "strong" signal to Iran. "The guy's a tin-pot dictator, and treating him as though he's an equal world leader seems to me counterproductive", Shapiro said. He spoke with Trump by phone on Monday, the South Korean presidential Blue House said, but gave no immediate details of the conversation.

The announcement took South Korean officials by surprise. "We pay for the majority of them", the president said.

"It was discussed. It will be discussed more in the future - human rights", Trump said. "But they will be doing things, and I think he wants to do things". President Donald Trump seems to have made an agreement to cease war games in the Korean Peninsula without consulting USA military leaders or South Korean allies.

US Forces Korea (USFK), which comprises about 28 500 troops permanently based in South Korea, received no immediate new guidance on upcoming joint training exercises, including so-called Ulchi Freedom Guardian scheduled for later this year.

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"Until such time as North Korea takes concrete steps to denuclearize, our policy should be to continue the maximum pressure campaign", he said.

But analysts said with the easing of tensions, China and South Korea were not likely to continue fully enforcing the tough measures needed to make sure North Korea makes good on its latest promises.

The US president also said the Islamic Republic was "a different country" as compared to several months ago due to his decision to withdraw from the 2015 accord. He called the regular training sessions between US and South Korean forces "very provocative" and costly.

"The North Koreans did not come with anything new", Hayden said on CNN.

The troops and war games were not mentioned in the final summit document, which focused on security guarantees and a general commitment to denuclearization.

North Korea's state media, referring to the drills, recently demanded that Washington "stop the acts of threatening its dialogue partner by force".

The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and a state of war still technically exists between the two Koreas.

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