Trump's Freeze of Korea Joint Exercises Catches Allies by Surprise

The two leaders shake hands as the summit begins

The two leaders shake hands as the summit begins

Its Foreign Affairs Ministry at a regular press briefing on Tuesday said the United Nations Security Council resolutions on sanctions required that as North Korea complied with these resolutions, "it is necessary to adjust the sanction measures, including the suspension of relevant sanctions".

Democratic critics in the USA said the agreement was short on detail and that Trump had made too many concessions to Kim without getting anything concrete in return.

Before the talks with Pompeo, Moon on Thursday hailed the summit as a great success.

In a joint statement signed by Trump and Kim at the historic summit, the leaders pledged to work toward "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula, falling short of specifying the plan and timeframe of the denuclearization process.

The summit in Singapore was the first-ever between a sitting leader of the U.S. and North Korea. Images of Mr Kim standing side-by-side with Mr Trump on the world stage were splashed across newspapers.

In response to Menendez on Thursday, Harris praised Trump's effort to bring the North Korean leader "to his senses, not to his knees", a reference to favouring diplomatic action over military deterrence towards Pyongyang.

Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said Japan saw "US-South Korean joint exercises and the US military presence in South Korea as vital to security in East Asia". The North's official KCNA news agency said the two men "gladly accepted" mutual invitations to visit each other's countries, and asserted Trump had "expressed his intention" to lift sanctions against the North - something the USA president had told a press conference would happen "when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor".

The US hopes to see "major disarmament" by North Korea by the end of 2020, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says.

Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay, reporting from Seoul, said that the meeting was an opportunity for the three countries "to show that they are in the same page" when it comes to the issue of North Korea and denuclearisation.

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In a statement, U.S. Forces-Korea said it had received no guidance or forewarning of Trump's announcement of the halt to the exercises, and South Korea professed to be baffled.

Trump's comment on suspending joint exercises with Seoul have caught South Korea's Defense Ministry and US forces in Korea off guard.

South Korea will have to be flexible when it comes to military pressure on North Korea if it is honest about denuclearisation, and it will review its position on military exercises with the United States, President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday.

Japanese officials are seeking a possible summit in September when both Abe and Kim are expected to attend an economic forum in Vladivostok in Russia's far east, according to news reports.

The president had previously mocked Chairman Kim during public appearances and regularly referred to him as "little rocket man" and said he was on a "suicide mission".

He emphasized that if a Japan-North Korea summit is held, it is crucial that the talks lead to a resolution of the abduction issue, along with the issues of North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles.

The resolutions "have mechanisms for relief contained in them and we agreed that at the appropriate time that those would be considered", Pompeo said.

But he also said he would love to bring the United States military out of South Korea because of the cost, adding that while it was not now part of the discussion, "at the appropriate time, it will be".

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