President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his decision to halt military drills with South Korea, justifying the move as a way to “save hundreds of millions of dollars for the U.S. which we are not reimbursed.”
“That was my position long before I became President,” he added. “Also, reducing tensions with North Korea at this time is a good thing!”
Trump’s tweet comes days after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to result in a denuclearization agreement.
The U.S. and North Korea on Saturday announced that annual large-scale exercises would end and be reconfigured into smaller exercises in an effort to support diplomacy efforts aimed at eliminating Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal.
Kim sees the military exercises as a rehearsal for invasion of his country.
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo “made clear that the alliance decision to adapt our training program reflected our desire to reduce tension and support our diplomatic efforts to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a final, fully verified manner,” the Pentagon said.
The new training maneuvers begin Monday and run through March 12 and will focus on “strategic operational and tactical aspects of general military operations on the Korean Peninsula.”
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