NATIONAL

[US-NK Summit] Trump says he will stop 'war games' with S. Korea

By Yonhap
  • Published : Jun 12, 2018 - 17:51
  • Updated : Jun 12, 2018 - 18:05

SINGAPORE -- US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he will stop "provocative and expensive" war games with South Korea in a surprise reference to the joint military exercises Pyongyang has criticized as a rehearsal of invasion.

Trump made the remarks during a press conference that followed his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the Singaporean resort island of Sentosa.

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

"I think it is very provocative. ... You have a country that is right next door," he added, referring to the communist state.

US President Donald Trump answers questions about the summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un during a press conference at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island, Tuesday, in Singapore. (AP-Yonhap)

His remarks underscored his apparent transactional approach to diplomacy.

Amid the growing mood for reconciliation, the possibility has emerged that Seoul and Washington could consider scaling back the regular annual drills, including the summertime Ulchi Freedom Guardian.

But conservatives in the South argued that any change to the exercises plans could lead to a weakening of the security alliance, the centerpiece of deterrence against the North's possible aggression.

In the face of the North's constant protest, the allies' militaries have defended the exercises as purely defensive in nature. (Yonhap)