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Trump Pledges to Stop South Korea War Games, Surprising Pentagon & Seoul

06-12-2018

President Donald Trump's pledge on Tuesday to cancel military exercises on the Korean Peninsula surprised not only allies in South Korea but also the Pentagon.

Hours after the president's announcement in Singapore, American troops in Seoul said they are still moving ahead with a military exercise this fall.

The Ulchi Freedom Guardian usually takes place in August and involves North Korea and US military forces.

Pentagon staff told CBN News, "There has been no update on execution or cessation of training exercises, including this fall's Ulchi Freedom Guardian."

"We will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense," a source told CBN News National Security Correspondent Erik Rosales.

Dana White, Pentagon spokeswoman emailed a statement to CBN News, "The Department of Defense welcomes the positive news coming out of the summit and fully supports the ongoing, diplomatically-led efforts with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Our alliances remain ironclad, and ensure peace and stability in the region. The Presidential summit outcome is the first step along the path to the goal: complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a free and open Indo-Pacific."

Meanwhile, State Department and White House officials are scrambling to figure out exactly the impact of Mr. Trump's comments.

"The Department of Defense continues to work with the White House, the interagency and our allies and partners on the way forward," Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said in an email. "We will provide additional information as it becomes available."

President Trump's promise to end joint military exercises with Seoul left many South Koreans stunned.

Pentagon staff said, "The Ulchi Freedom Guardian is one of the largest military exercises in the world. The war games, which last year ran for 11 days, have involved some 17,500 American forces, including about 3,000 from outside the peninsula, and 50,000 South Korean troops."

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