Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that North Korea does not have any economic future with nuclear weapons as the Pentagon confirmed the United States and South Korea had agreed to end joint large scale spring military exercises. “North Korea has an incredible, brilliant economic future if they make a deal, but they don’t have any economic future if they have nuclear weapons,” Trump said at a Conservative Political Action Conference.
According to a statement, acting Pentagon Chief Patrick Shanahan spoke with his South Korea counterpart on Saturday and they agreed to adapt their training programs. The two “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.
Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon is planning to visit the United States in the coming week to meet U.S. officials to discuss the second U.S.-North Korea summit as well as the future agenda, according to a South Korean official. The Pentagon said the U.S. and South Korea had agreed to “newly designed Command Post exercises and revised field training programs.” U.S. officials have long said the scope of the spring exercises, known as Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, would be reduced.
South Korea’s joint Chiefs of Staff and South Korea-United States Combined Forces Command said on Sunday that the two countries will conduct a military exercise from March 4 to 12. The exercise,”Dong Maeng”, which means “Alliance” in English, has been modified from the previously held spring exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle and will focus on strategic, operational, and tactical aspects of general military operations on the Korean Peninsula.
“It is important for professional armies to train and maintain to a standard of readiness. These exercises are crucial in sustaining and strengthening the alliance,” the statement added. In Vietnam this week, the second meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without a deal on sanctions relief North Korea would get in exchange for steps to give up its nuclear program.
Trump said he was trying to maintain “a delicate balance” to coax the North Koreans into giving up their nuclear program. The United States and North Korea have said they intend to continue talks, but have not specified when. Some observers credited Trump for refusing to be drawn into a bad deal. Others criticized him for praising Kim’s leadership and accepting his assertion that he had been unaware of Warmbier’s treatment.
Washington has demanded complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization before sanctions can be lifted, a position Pyongyang has denounced as “gangster like.”