On Tuesday, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry released two statements, calling the US’ decision to continue the drills with South Korea “contravention of the commitments made at the highest level.”
"The United States is going to conduct a joint military exercise 'Alliance 19-2' with South Korea in contravention of the commitments made at the highest level at a time when the working-level talks between the DPRK and the US are on the agenda, which has been made possible by the DPRK-US summit meeting in Panmunjom [North Korea],” a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said.
The initial statement by the North Korean Foreign Ministry claimed that it is “crystal clear” that the US’ actions are a “rehearsal of war aimed at militarily occupying our Republic by surprise attack and rapid dispatch of large-scale reinforcements,” Sputnik previously reported.
During the June 2018 summit in Singapore, US President Donald Trump told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that joint military exercises between the US and South Korea would be terminated. Although the US hasn’t held large-scale military exercises, it is still holding smaller exercises with South Korea’s troops.
In March, Trump claimed that large military exercises with South Korea were becoming “very expensive.”
"I was telling the generals, I said: Look, you know, exercising is fun and it's nice and they play the war games. And I'm not saying it's not necessary, because at some level it is, but at other levels it's not," he said at the time.
However, on Tuesday, Trump insisted that talks with North Korea were faring well, despite the planned exercises.
"We'll see what happens," Trump said, according to reports. "At some point — I'm in absolutely no hurry — we can probably do something that will be very good for them and for everybody and the world."