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Trump announces to end S. Korea-US joint military exercises, sparks concerns Updated: 2018-06-13 14:09:25 KST



Reuters Edit No 2088
"We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money, unless and until we see that the future negotiation is not going along like it should. But we will be saving a tremendous amount of money, plus I think it's very provocative."

In the press conference after the summit with Kim Jong-un, U.S. President Donald Trump said he will end the regular joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea.
The drills consist of field training exercises and computerized command and control war simulations against a threat from North Korea.
Trump called the exercises "provocative" and "inappropriate" in light of improving relations with North Korea.
He added halting the drills will save money.
The spokesperson for U.S. Department of Defense said Trump previously discussed the matter with defense secretary James Mattis.

However, some major U.S. newspapers expressed concerns about Trump's decision.
The New York Times called it a concession to North Korea and a gamble on Kim Jong-un's promise to scrap the North Korea's nuclear weapons programs.

The Washington Post said Trump's move had significant political benefits for Chairman Kim.
And the Wall Street Journal said that in the past the U.S. had consistently rejected North Korea's demand to halt joint drills.

Some experts also share similar views.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow said ending the drills is a concession with nothing in return from North Korea.
The former ambassador added that regular exercises between the two allies is a must.
Victor Cha, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned that the move could hurt the South Korea-U.S. alliance.

South Korea's defense ministry said it needs to understand the exact intention of President Trump's words before further comments.
Choi Si-young, Arirang News.
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