President Donald Trump said late on Wednesday that he would suspend the costly war games with South Korea, stating there was “no reason” to hold any more of them. At the same, he deemed his relationship with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un as “very good.”
The President did, however, say in his tweet that if he wanted to he would restart these military exercises and they would be much bigger.
Trump tweeted a White House statement which said, “North Korea is under tremendous pressure from China because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese Government,” adding that on the other hand, China is providing the hermit regime with “considerable aid.”
However, the statement also said the two leaders’ relationship was “warm” so there was no reason to continue spending a considerable amount of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games. It also touted President Trump’s relationship with China’s Xi Jinping as “very strong” and maintained any issues between the U.S. and China would be taken care of by the two presidents.
A statement issued earlier that day by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said three military exercises were suspended so that diplomats can “negotiate the verifiable, irreversible and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” Mattis continued by saying the U.S. military positions remains the same and adding that “no decisions have been made about suspending any future exercises.”
After the June 12 summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim, the President promised to discontinue war games with South Korea in exchange for denuclearization of the North. However, he recently told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel a trip to North Korea due to insufficient progress in that regard.
“I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula…,” the President tweeted last week.