Trump says he will stop 'war games' with South Korea

Thursday, 14 Jun, 2018

Thirteen seconds. That's how long the American and North Korean leaders shook hands at the start of their summit Tuesday. Even though no deadline was set for the denuclearization of North Korea, a guarantee of security was extended to Pyongyang.

Trump and Kim Jong Un have now parted ways, since Singapore is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, and are heading home, but here's a round up of the biggest moments from their time together. The halted exercises seem to be a concession to Pyongyang, which has repeatedly claimed that the drills are practice for a strike against North Korea.

Alluding to the North's concerns that giving up its nuclear weapons could surrender its primary deterrent to forced regime change, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the USA was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with "sufficient certainty" that denuclearization "is not something that ends badly for them".

Yet the sanctions the U.S. has slapped on the North are going nowhere, despite Kim's "unwavering commitment" to complete denuclearization.

The agreement signed Tuesday by Trump and Kim also included provisions for future negotiations, hinting at the possibility of more meetings between the USA and North Korean leaders.

Without any prior warning, Trump announced he will be suspending the annual U.S. But if Trump seeks re-election in 2020, his government is likely to apply more pressure on North Korea to make substantial progress in denuclearization, which could bring the nuclear issue to another critical point, said Shin Beomchul of Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

US Forces Korea said it had received no new instructions about its scheduled training exercises, including this summer's Ulchi Freedom Guardian.

"It is something that [North Korea] very much appreciated", he said, adding that the exercises cost too much and are seen as provocative by North Korea. "No longer - sleep well tonight!" It appeared to catch the Pentagon and officials in Seoul off guard, and some South Koreans were alarmed.

North Korea, Trump said Tuesday, has agreed to destroy a major missile engine testing site.

"The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor", Trump said at the briefing, adding, "I hope it's going to be soon". It has not given the USA any information about them.

Kim may have best summed up the surreal quality of what was happening when he said that many of those watching will think it's a scene from a "science fiction movie".

"Through this US-North Korea summit, Chairman Kim Jong Un's intent for complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula was confirmed in writing", Abe told reporters.

"Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea", Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Pompeo, after landing in South Korea, met for almost an hour with Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea. "The secretary is in full alignment with the president to meet his goal, which is denuclearization of the peninsula", Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White said. Pompeo was slated to fly on to Beijing later Thursday.

If he was forced to negotiate by USA pressure, it certainly wasn't obvious. -South Korean drills was met with concern. He said North Korea is likely to consider Trump's decision a temporary measure while it remains in negotiations with Washington.

The US stations about 30,000 troops in security ally South Korea to protect it from its neighbour, which invaded it in 1950 in an attempt to reunify the peninsula by force.

How did South Korea react?

"By the way, Korean stuffed cucumber is stuffed with Koreans - Kim is a monster".