Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for an immediate end to all military drills on the Korean peninsula following the penning of a historic agreement with North Korea in which North Korean leader Kim Jung- Un agreed to the denuclearization of his region.
“We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should,” Trump said after his meeting with Kim. “But we’ll be saving a tremendous amount of money. Plus, I think it’s very provocative.”
It’s time to “bring our soldiers back home,” he added.
While those hoping for peace worldwide celebrated the president’s comments, South Korean leaders took the news with a certain level of apprehension.
“At this current point, there is a need to discern the exact meaning and intent of President Trump’s comments,” Seoul’s Defense Ministry said, according to the Associated Press.
A spokesperson for U.S. Forces Korea, which oversees approximately 30,000 troops on the Korean Peninsula, said the military unit has not yet received clarification as to when the ongoing exercises will end.
“The USFK has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises — to include this fall’s scheduled Ulchi Freedom Guardian,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
Still, as Republicans tout the history-making agreement with Kim, Democrats have been quick to criticize Trump as ‘naive” in his negotiations with the North Korean leader.
“In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Tuesday. “The millions of families currently living in fear of nuclear weapons in the region deserve strong and smart leadership built on diplomacy and engagement with our regional partners and allies.”
“The President’s marginalization of the vast expertise of the State Department and his habitual disparaging of our allies as demonstrated at the G7 Forum hinders a lasting, stable pathway to peace,” Pelosi added.
But an undeterred Trump on Tuesday celebrated the monumental agreement and criticized prior administrations for allowing U.S., North Korea relations to deteriorate to such levels.
“You know, we did sanctions and all the things you would do but I think without the rhetoric,” the president said during an appearance on Sean Hannity. “You know, other administrations, I don’t want to get specific on that, but you know they had a policy of silence.”