US President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore in this picture released on Tuesday by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.
Following the unprecedented meeting in Singapore, Trump stunned observers when he said continuing the exercises routinely held between the USA and South Korea would be "inappropriate" while Washington fleshes out a comprehensive deal with Pyongyang.
So we got our hostages back, but they've blown up one of their sites, one of their testing sites, their primary testing site, in fact some people say their only testing site, they are getting rid of a missile, which isn't in the document, that was done afterwards, they're getting rid of a missile testing site - they're doing so much now. Under the circumstances that we are negotiating a very comprehensive, complete deal, I think it is very inappropriate to have war games. "The V matters", he told reporters in Singapore.
"My administration will spare no effort in cooperating with the United States, North Korea and the global community to ensure that the agreement can be implemented in its entirety", he said in a statement.
"USFK has maintained a very steady level of troops on the Korean peninsula in recent years".
The remarks contradicted countless previous declarations by US political and military officials over the years that the drills are routine, defensive and absolutely critical.
"South Korea contributes [to the military exercises], but not 100 percent, which is a subject that we have to talk to them about", the president said. "That's why we have been so emphatic with the federal government to make an accounting for all of the missing", said Hanson.
On a point that's harder to quantify, Trump also granted what Kim Jong-un, a dictator who executed more than 100 officials to secure power and has overseen the starvation of hundreds of thousands of citizens, has sought for a long time: a seat at the worldwide table.
During the meeting, Trump offered to end the joint military exercise between the USA and the South Korean government.
Trump's comments will be questioned by many in South Korea and beyond, with some seeing in them an effort by North Korea to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington. Trump said he has no plans to decrease the number of US troops in the South as part of security assurances for the North, but he left open the possibility that he will do so in the future. He added that the issue requires consultations between the allies.
And what "exactly was the president committing to?" he added.
Instead of the Pyongyang-Shanghai- Singapore route that takes six-and-a-half hours but passes over sea routes that are more hard to protect, he flew via Beijing, which took around 10 hours.
Exercises with South Korea cover a range of eventualities, including drills with nuclear-capable bombers.
"It is a blank cheque for Pyongyang, a free pass to carry on as (North Korea leader Kim Jong Un) pleases, as his regime has for decades", he said.
The statement seemed to surprise South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) on Tuesday claimed that Pence promised to continue conducting "readiness training and training exchanges", despite Trump's pledge to end military drills in the region. "The only way to get stability in Northeast Asia is to begin to see a moderation of North Korean politics and society. and America should be part of that process", said Ross, who believes that the world must become resigned to North Korea being a nuclear power.
"We have a historic meeting and chose to leave the past behind and we are about to sign a historic document", Kim said.