Mattis not surprised by Trump's call to end military exercises: Pentagon

Wednesday, 13 Jun, 2018

The summit meeting is a good start between the USA and North Korea, she said. "I was a little concerned that the president would give away our issue with regard to military exercises without getting something in return".

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is also heading to Seoul and is due to meet with Pompeo and his South Korean counterpart.

President Donald Trump's announcement Tuesday that he had agreed to cancel war games in Korea reportedly came as a shock to South Korea and US military leaders.

The White House may make an announcement on Friday, which could see the United States slapping a 25 per cent tariff on a list of Chinese exports. -South Korean military drills and move forward with the plan to remove the 28,500 American troops stationed in Seoul. But at his post-summit news conference, the United States president described them as "very provocative".

One South Korean official was quoted as saying he was "shocked" by that description.

The US President also said that sanctions will remain in place until Pyangyong halts and dismantles its nuclear programme.

A major obstacle to reaching and implementing any nuclear deal is that the US and North Korea have differing definitions of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

Both in South Korea and Japan, there are mixed views on the military exercises. Kim, for his part, said the leaders had "decided to leave the past behind" and promised, "The world will see a major change".

There is even the remote possibility that North Korea could flip allegiances, just as China did in 1972.

Asked if Mattis was surprised by those comments White said Mattis had been in constant conversations with the President.

China has confirmed that Pompeo will visit Beijing on Thursday. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has praised the "important progress" made at the Singapore summit to begin resolving the Korean peninsula's problems.

Moon has made great efforts playing the role of mediator to bring the Cold War foes back to dialogue.

But with no clear signs of how or when the process will unfold, others have been more cautious about the summit's implications.

"I can only say that this once again proves that China's initiative is reasonable and feasible, not only in the interest of all parties, but also in addressing the most urgent security concerns of all parties", he said.

President Trump is right: North Korean leader Kim Jung-un is "very talented", and Chinese President Xi Jinping is "a very special person".

"War games are very expensive", he said, raising the issue of their cost.

As for whether clients are approaching him on doing deals in North Korea, "the answer is no", Paulsen said.

"At this moment, we need to figure out President Trump's accurate meaning and intention" on the exercises, said a statement from the office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, CNN reported.