By Kasim Ileri
The Pentagon said Friday that major joint military exercises with South Korea have been 'indefinitely suspended'.
In a press statement, Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White said Defense Secretary James Mattis met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford and National Security Adviser John Bolton to discuss efforts to implement the results of the Singapore Summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
"To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in coordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises," she said.
White stated that the decision included suspending upcoming programs such as "Freedom Guardian" and two Korean Marine Exchange Program training exercises.
"In support of upcoming diplomatic negotiations led by Secretary Pompeo, additional decisions will depend upon the DPRK continuing to have productive negotiations in good faith," she added, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s formal name.
Trump made the announcement on the suspension of joint military exercises during the unprecedented summit on Singapore’s Sentosa Island on June 12, where he and Kim signed a “comprehensive” deal in front of international camera crews, starting the denuclearization process on the Korean Peninsula.
Despite Seoul and Washington insisting for years that they were defensive in nature, Trump made a sharp U-Turn and vowed to end the "provocative" exercises as a concession to Pyongyang.
Pyongyang has repeatedly condemned the series of annual U.S.-South Korean military drills, complaining they are rehearsals for an invasion.