South Korea said on Tuesday that it needs to “find out the precise meaning or intentions” of President Trump’s announcement that he would end joint military exercises on the Korean peninsula.
“At this point, we need to find out the precise meaning or intentions of President Trump’s remarks,” a spokesman for the South’s presidential Blue House said, according to Reuters.
A U.S. military spokesperson said that U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula have not received any “updated guidance” on halting training exercises with South Korea.
“[U.S. Forces in Korea] has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises – to include this fall’s schedule Ulchi Freedom Guardian,” Lt. Col. Jennifer Lovett said, according to Reuters.
“In coordination with our ROK partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense and/or Indo-Pacific Command,” she continued.
The Hill added:
Trump made the announcement after he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday for the first-ever face-to-face meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean premier.
The two leaders signed an agreement that commits the U.S. to unspecified “security guarantees” in exchange for the eventual denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
In announcing that he would suspend joint military exercises in the region with South Korea, Trump did away with a sticking point for Pyongyang, which has repeatedly claimed that the drills are merely a pretext for a strike on the North.
“I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean peninsula is going to be a very different situation than it has in the past,” Trump said. “We’ve developed a very special bond.”
It is still unclear when exactly Trump would give a formal order to cease military drills on the Korean peninsula.