Trump claim raises eyebrows: North Korea no longer a nuclear threat?


But if Trump seeks re-election in 2020, his government is likely to apply more pressure on North Korea to make substantial progress in denuclearization, which could bring the nuclear issue to another critical point, said Shin Beomchul of Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies. "We didn't even discuss that, that wasn't discussed", Trump said in an interview with Voice of America.

He lavishly praised the young dictator, saying he trusted him to "do the right thing"; this despite decades of evidence that the Kim family had cemented its dynasty with ruthlessness and duped the worldwide community about its nuclear weapons programme.

Most Western observers have said the deal includes no new commitments from North Korea nor details on how denuclearisation could be achieved or verified. Now, we're going to see.

"It was a game-time decision", the source says.

South Korean Minister of Defence, Itsunori Onodera, said: "We would like to seek an understanding of this between Japan, the USA and South Korea". "The only possible path is one of direct dialogue".

The traditional USA calendar for other major drills would not pick up again until next spring, officials say.

The exact terms of that agreement remain unclear. But two other administration officials told CNN that by Wednesday morning it was clear to defense officials the White House was unhappy.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, along with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, and top commanders are trying to fashion detailed directives to the military on what exact exercises and drills will be suspended, several U.S. officials told CNN. He said South Korea is still trying to figure out the exact meaning and intent of Trump's comments.

"I'm not for Russian Federation, I'm for the United States", Trump said.

The U.S. -South Korean exercise calendar hits a high point every spring with the Foal Eagle and Max Thunder drills, which both wrapped up last month. A Democratic senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy, said of the outcome of the Singapore summit: "Kim's gulags, public executions, planned starvation, are legitimized on the world stage..."

Pompeo arrived in Seoul on Wednesday evening and will meet Thursday with senior South Korean and Japanese leaders to brief them on the June 12 summit before continuing on to Beijing.

"I'm not going to talk to internal processes and discussions that were had", he said.

He disagreed, however, with Trump's characterization that the exercises are "provocative".

"It said: "The two top leaders gladly accepted each other's invitation, convinced that it would serve as another important occasion for improved DPRK-US relations", it said, referencing the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea". "He was unambiguous about that".

Media captionTrump Kim summit: What happens now?

KCNA quoted Kim as saying that the North can take unspecified "additional good-will measures of next stage commensurate with them" if the USA takes genuine measures to build trust. Later, the President tweeted that suspending military exercises would "save a fortune".

Sen. Lindsey Graham does not have an issue with halting joint military exercises between the USA and South Korea while discussions with North Korea continue.

Forces from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Britain also participated. But because anti-Trumpers induced many to believe war was imminent, many now believe they are much safer thanks to the summit.