"With the US unilaterally reneging on its commitments, we are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the US as well," North Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
"It is crystal clear that it is an actual drill and a rehearsal of war aimed at militarily occupying our Republic by surprise attack and rapid dispatch of large-scale reinforcements … The suspension of joint military exercises is what President Trump, Commander-in-Chief of the US, personally committed to at the DPRK-US summit talks in Singapore under the eyes of the whole world,” the statement adds.
While North Korea’s statement was made carefully, according to Zeese, the same can’t be said for US actions.
“I think what’s not careful is the US government pushing South Korea into joint military exercises,” Zeese told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker. “That is irresponsible. The reality is, the US has done nothing to live up to its initial meeting [on June 12, 2018, in Singapore] with the North Koreans - except for stopping military exercises. And if the US restarts those exercises, which are basically practice bombings, including nuclear bombings, [and] practice assassinations of North Korean leadership … it is a slap in the face” of North Korea.
According to Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn, the upcoming military exercises between the US and South Korea have been "adjusted to maintain readiness and support diplomatic efforts."
"This routine combined training demonstrates the United States' commitment to the [Republic of Korea] ROK-US alliance and defense of the Korean Peninsula through activities that enhance combined readiness," he said Tuesday, multiple outlets reported.
“I’m very curious who's behind this decision in the Trump administration. Was this President [Donald] Trump himself? It doesn’t sound like him. Was it John Bolton, the national security adviser? Very possible … He has sought to undermine this progress with the US and North Korea. He undermined this in the Bush administration in the earliest part of the century. Where there had been an agreement between the Clinton administration and North Korea, Bolton came in with [then-President George W.] Bush and undermined that agreement. So, I suspect this is who is behind this,” Zeese told Sputnik.
“If that’s the case, Trump should fire Bolton. Bolton has undermined him in Syria. He’s got him in this quagmire in Venezuela. He’s trying to get the US into war with Iran, and he’s undermining progress in North Korea. And if that’s happening, it’s time for Trump to step up and be president. If Trump made this decision, he has been poorly advised in making a very bad decision. To take this step backward is a terrible decision,” he continued.
“The other person that is very important in this is the South Korean president,” Moon Jae In, Zeese explained. “Now, unfortunately, because of the agreed military agreement between the US and South Korea, the US is basically in control of the military, including South Korea's military. I think a phone call between the South Korean president and the US president could be very fruitful at his point. He [Moon] has really been the guy pushing this agreement ... he’s been pushing cross-border activities between the North and South.
“The question is: how can Trump back out of this gracefully? That’s the trick,” Zeese said.
“There’s a lot that Trump has to go against. Trump could be a hero in so many ways on Iran, Venezuela, on Syria, on North Korea, if he bucks the establishment.”