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03:54, 21 June 2018 Thursday
15:23, 12 June 2018 Tuesday

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Trump will take a U-Turn 
Trump will take a U-Turn 

Pyongyang has repeatedly condemned a series of U.S.-South Korean military drills that are held annually, complaining they are rehearsals for an invasion.

World Bulletin / News Desk

The two leaders issued a joint statement after their summit in Singapore, with Kim vowing to denuclearize in return for security guarantees from Trump.

Despite Seoul and Washington insisting for years that the exercises were defensive in nature, Trump made a sharp U-Turn after his Kim meeting.

"I think it is very provocative. ... You have a country that is right next door," the U.S. president said during a televised press briefing in Singapore.

"War games are very expensive," he also remarked, which is in line with his previous criticism of Seoul for not paying as much as he would like for the stationing of nearly 30,000 American troops in South Korea.

However, the announcement came as news to U.S. Forces Korea, which released a statement insisting they "will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense and/or Indo-Pacific Command".

Trump even added he would like to bring U.S. troops "back home" from the Korean Peninsula, although he admitted it would not be possible for now.

His comments may upset South Korean conservatives who have strongly argued in favor of the American military alliance as a way of deterring potential North Korean attacks.

While Trump suggested the peninsula is edging towards a treaty to formally conclude the 1950-53 Korean War, which only ended in a cease-fire rather than a peace deal, the North was threatening to strike Seoul and its allies just months ago.

As for criticism that Tuesday's denuclearization agreement lacked a clear plan, Trump said Kim is dismantling a missile engine test site that could be used to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, following last month's public demolition of North Korea's nuclear test site.

Further meetings between Washington and Pyongyang are planned to cement the next steps from both sides in fulfilling Tuesday's outline deal.



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