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

US military forces in Korea have not received any direction to cease joint military drills, a spokesman said on Tuesday, after US President Donald Trump said war games would be ended amid talks with North Korea. "We don't have high expectations, although we have high hopes", she said.

"I was shocked when he called the exercises 'provocative, ' a very unlikely word to be used by a US president", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because it was a politically sensitive issue.

Trump and Kim signed a document on Tuesday stating that Pyongyang would work toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Trump also seemed annoyed that US bomber aircraft make six-plus hour flights from the Pacific island of Guam to the Korean peninsula as part of its exercise routine.

The U.S. insists this is the start of a process but the rather vague promises has some concerned that the mistakes of the past could be made again.

Later in the day, Trump is reportedly set to give his first post-summit interview at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island to Fox News' Sean Hannity, a leading Trump booster, who is in Singapore covering the summit. He added that the issue requires consultations between the allies.

While many North Korea experts and defectors welcome the ease in tensions between the USA and North Korea, they faulted Trump for overtly praising an authoritarian leader and failing to bring up human rights violations within North Korea. "Was he committing to end all military exercises or was he committing to end just the most provocative ones?"

"President Trump believes that Kim Jong-un has an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity to his country", he told reporters.

"I think at the right time, he'll absolutely be coming to the White House, yes", he said.

"The American military presence in South Korea wouldn't mean much if the militaries don't practice through joint drills", said Moon, now a senior analyst for the Seoul-based Korea Research Institute for National Strategy.

But Daniel Davis, a retired army lieutenant colonel and fellow at the Defense Priorities military think tank, said suspending the drills would have no short-term impact on US and South Korean military readiness.

"The US armed forces will in no way stop individual and collective training, the South Korean military will continue to train and prepare as they always have", he told AFP, adding that institutional knowledge from years of drills would be retained.

"The Singapore summit statement is essentially aspirational: no definitions of denuclearization, no timelines, no details as to verification", Haass said on Twitter.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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