US, South Korea agree to suspend joint military exercise

Top government spokesman Suga

Top government spokesman Suga

President Trump said Sunday that it was his idea to agree to halt "war games" with South Korea during his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un because they're expensive, as he slammed the media and Democrats for criticizing his negotiation.

North and South Korea failed to reach any concrete agreement during those talks, officials said.

In response to a multiple-choice question, 62.7 percent of the South Korean respondents expected relations between their country and North Korea to improve over the next decade, while only 15.3 percent of the Japanese said likewise, and 34.4 percent predicted that inter-Korean ties would remain unstable. China is North Korea's most important diplomatic and economic backer but has been angered by its nuclear and missile tests. Last year's exercise included 17,500 USA troops, about 3,000 of whom came from off the peninsula.

In addition to speculating that Chinese and Russian support for existing US -led sanctions against Pyongyang is likely to falter since Mr. Trump tweeted a day after meeting Mr. Kim that "there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea", critics have seized on a lack of specifics in the joint statement.

Trump's decision was confirmed on Monday by Dana White, a spokesman for the Defense Department. The Pentagon has for years flatly denied North Korean assertions that the exercises are "provocative".

"I shouldn't be surprised", said one government official.

Asked about the future of the peninsula, 33.7 percent of South Korean respondents said the two countries should be unified, while 24.9 percent expected they would continue to exist separately but form an entity similar to the European Union.

Earlier, Trump and Kim held a one-on-one meeting, which lasted about 48 minutes, as both top guns emerged from the meeting room, Trump expressed that the talks were "very, very good" and that he and Kim have an "excellent relationship".

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Anticipation over what comes next is swirling amid concern from regional experts, who've argued North Korea (DPRK) and its allies China and Russian Federation came away the big winners of the summit.

Korea talks with the intention of reducing the influence and the threat of the US military on the Korean Peninsula. -North Korean summit was more advantageous to North Korea than the United States.

However, experts say that comparing military strength by number of armaments and soldiers alone doesn't account for the enormous qualitative difference between weapons, with South Korea supplied with state-of-the-art equipment and weapons by its ally the U.S.

The president's announcement appeared to catch United States defense officials by surprise, and his comments ran counter to long-held American arguments that the exercises are critical for effective operations with allies and are defensive in nature.

Apart from a potentially lucrative cross-border trade, China has also strategic interests in the Korean peninsula, which includes being wary of USA military presence in South Korea.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that the North Korean autocrat would be in Beijing through Wednesday.

Trump had raised eyebrows by describing the exercises as "provocative" - a term used by the North.

The announcement comes about a week after President Trump first announced that the United States would be suspending joint military exercises with South Korea while negotiations with North Korea are ongoing.

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