Trump's vow to end military drills with South Korea stuns a region

Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump

"At the same time, there needs to be a peace mechanism for the peninsula, to resolve North Korea's reasonable security concerns".

Almost 7,800 American troops remain unaccounted for from the 1950-53 war in the Korean Peninsula.

In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Mr. Trump said he's certain that his warlike rhetoric previous year against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convinced Mr. Kim to negotiate over giving up his nuclear weapons.

"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.

"USFK has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises - to include this fall's schedule Ulchi Freedom Guardian", U.S. Forces in Korea spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer Lovett said in a statement. He taunted Mr. Kim as "little rocket man", and warned that the US would "totally destroy" North Korea. Then he said: "We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should".

During the first press conference after his historic meeting with the North Korean leader, Trump said United States war games in the region would be "provocative" amid talks with Pyongyang and promised to suspend them. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 4.

A spokeswoman for US military forces in Korea, meanwhile, said it had not received any direction to cease joint military drills. "Plus, I think it's very provocative".

In a statement signed by both leaders, the countries agreed to the recovery of the remains and the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

"South Korea will have mixed feelings toward Trump's remarks", said Lee Il-woo, a director at Korea Defense Network in Seoul. "There has been real concern that he would only look after USA interests, not those of our long-standing allies".

However, Trump and Kim may need one more meeting to discuss existing problems, according to the USA president.

Foster Klug is AP's bureau chief in South Korea and has covered the Koreas since 2005.

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