22:31 GMT +317 July 2019
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    President Donald Trump speaks during a dinner for evangelical leaders in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, in Washington

    Trump: No Need for Expensive War Games with South Korea

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    Asia & Pacific
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    A statement released by the White House on Tuesday affirmed that US President Donald Trump doesn't believe joint war games with South Korea are necessary at present time and that China is placing a "tremendous" amount of pressure on North Korea as Washington and Pyongyang continue delicate negotiations.

    The statement, which was shared on Trump's Twitter page, reads, "North Korea is under tremendous pressure from China because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese government." The president also said Beijing's aid to its neighbor was "not helpful."

    Trump has opined before against the need for joint military exercises with South Korea, a practice that is a thorn in the side of North Korea. In this statement, Trump noted that he could "instantly" restart such joint exercises if he wanted to. "Nonetheless, the president believes that his relationship with [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un is a very good and warm one, and there is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint US-South Korea war games. Besides, the president can instantly start the joint exercises again with South Korea, and Japan," the statement says. 

    ​The latest remarks comes days after it was revealed by the Washington Post that a letter from Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the Korean Workers Party Central Committee, was the cause of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recently canceled trip to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The letter, which reportedly arrived hours before Pompeo was set to leave, is said to have expressed the North Korean official's concern for the fate of future talks between the two countries.

    Kim and Trump first met in early June for the first time in Singapore, marking a historic moment for the two leaders. At the end of the meeting, the pair signed a four-point declaration that outlined how the two countries would improve ties. The US and Beijing, on the other hand, are locked in a trade war, with both sides slapping tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods. 

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    Tags:
    war games, military drills, military exercises, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China, United States
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