Donald Trump Says North Korea No Longer A Nuclear Threat

Even as Washington agreed to suspend joint US and South Korean military exercises as the country pursues peace with North Korea and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Seoul is modernizing its military and purchasing new missiles and fighter aircraft.

"A long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office".

Chun Yung-woo, a former chief presidential secretary for foreign affairs, said Trump "denied the value of the South Korea-U.S. alliance and the legitimacy of joint military drills.

In their joint statement Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that stopped short of longstanding USA demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal in a "verifiable" and "irreversible" way.

"A year ago the pundits & talking heads, people that couldn't do the job before, were begging for conciliation and peace - 'please meet, don't go to war, '" Trump tweeted.

"It's important for us to remember that it's largely words at this point, and that we have to look for actions, particularly from North Korea", Panetta said during an interview with FOX Business' Neil Cavuto on Tuesday. "No longer - sleep well tonight!"

A spokesman for U.S. Forces Korea said they've received "no updated guidance" in regards to military exercises. -South Korea war games as part of the negotiations with Kim.

Mr Trump said on Tuesday the U.S. was stopping "very provocative" and costly military exercises with South Korea to facilitate denuclearisation negotiations with North Korea.

It's reflective of a broader theme on the KOSPI index, with other South Korean construction companies (such as Hyundai Cement, up more than 300%) also posting strong gains in recent months.

The Pentagon has denied that US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis was caught off guard by the president's announcement, saying "there were no surprises".

In a further tweet on Wednesday, President Trump hit out at criticism of his summit in some USA media, dubbing it "Fake News".

A senior South Korean defense ministry official said Tuesday that the South is trying to determine exactly what President Trump meant when he said that exercises would end.

During his return, Trump spoke with South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Pompeo, the former Central Intelligence Agency director, then plans to fly to Beijing to update the Chinese government on the talks. At a press conference just before leaving Singapore, Trump said Kim will start dismantling his nuclear arsenal "very quickly"; he noted that he wants US troops out of South Korea "at some point"; he'll visit Pyongyang "at a certain time".

About 29,000 USA soldiers are based in the South, under a security agreement reached after the war ended in 1953.

U.S. military commanders in the South also said they had no warning of Mr Trump's announcement. He said he planned to continue sharing the view with Washington and Seoul. The next military exercise is scheduled for August. Both sides promised to push the process forward quickly, and Trump and Kim exchanged invitations to each other to visit their nations' capitals.

Clinton reached an aid-for-disarmament deal in 1994 that halted North Korea's plutonium production for eight years, freezing what was then a very small atomic arsenal. A flurry of media coverage the day Kim arrived in Singapore showed him waving from the door of the specially chartered Air China flight that brought him from Pyongyang.