N. Korea highlights Trump concessions on war games after summit
SEOUL, June 13, 2018 (News Wires) - North Korean state media lauded on Wednesday the summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump as a resounding success, highlighting concessions by the US president and the prospect of a new era of peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.
According to a report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Trump expressed his intention to halt US-South Korea joint military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve.
The US president had said in a news conference on Tuesday he would like to lift sanctions against North Korea, but it would not happen immediately.
Kim and Trump invited each other to their respective countries and both leaders “gladly accepted”, KCNA reported.
The summit, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, was in stark contrast to a flurry of North Korean nuclear and missile tests and angry exchanges of insults between Trump and Kim last year that fuelled worries about war.
“Kim Jong Un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” KCNA said.
Trump confirmed the United States will not hold war games with South Korea while North Korea negotiates in good faith on denuclearisation.
“We’re not going to be doing the war games as long as we’re negotiating in good faith,” Trump told Fox News Channel in an interview in Singapore after the summit.
“So that’s good for a number of reasons, in addition to which we save a tremendous amount of money,” Trump said. “You know, those things, they cost. I hate to appear a businessman, but I kept saying, what’s it costing?”
US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump’s cost reasoning for halting the exercises was “ridiculous”.
“It’s not a burden onto the American taxpayer to have a forward deployed force in South Korea,” Graham told CNN. “It brings stability. It’s a warning to China that you can’t just take over the whole region. So I reject that analysis that it costs too much, but I do accept the proposition, let’s stand down (on military exercises) and see if we can find a better way here.”