Military says it's received no guidance about canceling Korean war games


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was not surprised by President Donald Trump's call to end USA military exercises with South Korea and had been consulted beforehand, a Pentagon official said Tuesday. "In coordination with our [South Korean] partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance".

Donald Trump's summit in Singapore may have been the first time a sitting United States president has met a North Korean leader at the negotiating table but it follows a long history of high level American engagement with Pyongyang over its nuclear ambitions.

The remarks were made by foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a briefing in Beijing after Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised the summit - the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting USA president - as "creating a new history".

Despite a year-long stand-off over Seoul's deployment of a USA anti-missile shield, China and the South found themselves on the same side last year after Trump threatened the North with "fire and fury" when it tested missiles that Pyongyang said could reach the United States mainland.

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Meanwhile, there is no sign that the American alliance with South Korea and Japan is diminishing, even though Trump has said he would consider withdrawing USA troops from the South.

The US and South Korea are security allies, with about 30,000 American troops based in country to defend it from its northern neighbour, which launched an invasion in 1950. This includes the Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military exercises scheduled for the fall.

Colonel Rob Manning, another spokesperson, said: "We are going to be aligned with the president", while noting that the readiness of USA forces would remain "paramout". He spoke with Trump by phone on Monday, the South Korean presidential Blue House said, but gave no immediate details of the conversation. In an effort to avoid raising tension, however, South Korea announced in early June that it would continue the annual exercises quietly and stop publicizing them.

"Now we can have hope it will soon end", Trump said.

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"We'll have to see the concrete steps that North Korea takes", she told the ABC.

Kelly Magsamen, a national security specialist with the Center for American Progress, said Tuesday's agreement contained no specific commitments by North Korea. President Donald Trump seems to have made an agreement to cease war games in the Korean Peninsula without consulting USA military leaders or South Korean allies.

After the meeting, Trump said Kim has a "great personality" and is "a very talented man". I want to get our soldiers out.

The military doesn't use the term "war games".

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