Mattis not surprised by Trump halting South Korea drills: Pentagon

The German share price index DAX board is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

The German share price index DAX board is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

Instead, DOJ issued a press release after midnight suggesting they will only meet with a group of select lawmakers to discuss the matter on the same day the North Korea summit opens in Singapore, according to numerous sources and a DOJ statement.

His statement was quickly portrayed by critics as a major, unreciprocated concession to a country that only previous year was threatening Seoul and Washington with nuclear war. The South Korean military seemed similarly surprised.

"It is also a goal of China's to seek denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, and without a clear timetable or any specific measures to dismantle nuclear weapons in North Korea, Washington will need Beijing if it wants to apply more pressure to Pyongyang". Speaking at a news conference after the summit, he called the military drills "tremendously expensive".

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.

"We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money", Trump told reporters, adding he had agreed to stop the "war games" because he considers them "very provocative". But we'll be saving a tremendous amount of money. "I think nobody can doubt the extremely unique and important role China has played".

"It is a great victory achieved by both the United States and the two Koreas, and a huge step forward for people across the world who long for peace", Moon said.

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The move appears to be based on the "freeze for freeze" proposal mooted by China, under which North Korea would stop nuclear and missile tests in exchange for a halt to the military exercises.

Ms Bishop's opposition counterpart Penny Wong echoed concerns that North Korea might not follow through on its promise.

The lone dissenting voice on the show was co-host Jessica Tarlov, who called it a missed opportunity that Trump didn't forcefully bring up North Korea's horrific human rights abuses.

"The USFK has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises - to include this fall's scheduled Ulchi Freedom Guardian", it said in response to a question from Yonhap News Agency.

Moon Seong Mook, a former South Korean military official, said Trump's comments on the drills confirmed what many in South Korea had feared all along - that North Korea would attempt to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul and gain substantial concessions from an unconventional USA president who thinks much less of the traditional alliance than his predecessors.

The summit was the first in history between a sitting U.S. President and a DPRK leader.

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