Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

South Korea Didn't See This Coming - Cortney O'Brien

South Korea Didn't See This Coming - Cortney O'Brien

"Here at the Pentagon, what they're telling us is, they will be in line with as soon as they figure out what, exactly, he's talking about", she said.

USFK also confirmed that the White House had not indicated any reduction in the number of troops in South Korea, consistent with Trump's promise not to remove any until far later in the process of normalizing relations with Pyongyang.

"We actually have a new deal with South Korea in terms of the trade deal but we have to talk to many countries about trading us fairly".

"At this current point, there is a need to discern the exact meaning and intent of President Trump's comments, " Seoul's Defense Ministry said, adding that there have been no discussions yet with Washington on modifying drills set for August.

If implemented, the plan could be one of the most concrete and controversial moves to come from Trump's summit with Kim, who pledged to pursue denuclearization but offered no details. The South Korean military seemed similarly surprised. North Korea last month broke off a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in a two-week military exercise with the United States.

As North Korea was conducting multiple missile tests a year ago and threatening to attack the U.S., Mr. Trump responded with rhetoric that was unusually aggressive for a U.S. leader.

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"I hope - but am not yet confident - that (North Korea) will take steps that match the concessions Mr. Trump has already made by ending military exercises in South Korea and granting Mr. Kim legitimacy with this summit", Thomas Countryman, a former acting under secretary of state for arms control under President Barack Obama, told Reuters.

Trump has now essentially adopted the standard North Korean line, calling the military exercises a "provocative" drain of money and announcing they would stop while he continues talks with Kim, whom he repeatedly praised as a solid negotiating partner. There are, on a steady state, about 28,000 USA troops in South Korea.

"His country has to be de-nuked and he understood that, he fully understood that, he didn't fight it", Trump said.

He noted, however, that exercises could easily be restarted if needed.

He added that it's "totally premature" to discuss the United States withdrawing its nuclear umbrella from the Korea peninsula in exchange for the total denuclearization of North Korea. "My second question is, what did we receive in return for this concession?"

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