President Donald Trump on Monday shot down the idea that he discussed curbing joint military drills with South Korea with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a decision he said could save the United States millions of dollars and has suggested would reduce tensions with North Korea.
“The military drills, or war games as I call them, were never even discussed in my mtg w/ Kim Jong Un of NK,” Trump tweeted days after he met with Kim in Vietnam in an attempt to reach a denuclearization agreement.
The Pentagon and the South Korean military confirmed on Saturday they were ending large-scale joint spring exercises. U.S. officials have long said the spring exercises, known as Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, would be reduced in scope as the countries embraced smaller-scale drills.
Last week, the summit between Trump and Kim was cut short after they failed to reach a deal on how far to grant sanctions relief in exchange for steps North Korea could take toward giving up its nuclear program.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Friday his country would continue to work with both the United States and North Korea to reach a deal. The United States and South Korea have suspended a number of military exercises since the first summit last year between Kim and Trump to encourage talks with North Korea.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Meredith Mazzilli)