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US to stop ‘war games’ in South Korea, President Trump says

The US military will stop “war games” on the Korean Peninsula, US President Donald Trump said Tuesday, as he announced details of his discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The numerous military exercises carried out each year by the US and South Korean militaries have been consistently cited by Pyongyang as a US rehearsal for war, and a reason it needs to build a nuclear arsenal.

“Under the circumstances that we’re negotiating a very comprehensive complete deal I think it’s inappropriate to have war games … It is something that (North Korea) very much appreciated,” Trump said a post-summit news conference in Singapore.

The US maintains around 30,000 troops in South Korea, as well as a base for Air Force fighter plane squadrons. Exercises also typically involve planes and ships coming in from elsewhere, mostly notably on the island of Guam, in the Western Pacific.

Trump on Tuesday said that the drills cost the US a lot of money.

“The war games are very expensive; we paid for a big majority of them, we fly in bombers from Guam,” Trump said.

“That’s a long time for these big massive planes to be flying to South Korea to practice and then drop bombs all over the place and then go back to Guam. I know a lot about airplanes, it’s very expensive,” he said.