Trump: Wargames with South Korea Could Resume Instantly
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he could restart wargames with South Korea "instantly" but maintained "there is no reason at this time" for them to re-commence.
Trump posted what he said was a White House statement to Twitter that largely focused on China, blaming Beijing for ongoing inertia in talks aimed at securing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Trump said China is giving Pyongyang "considerable aid, including money, fuel, fertilizer and various other commodities".
"This is not helpful!" he said in a now signature brief exclamation.
The president praised his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but made a veiled threat to the North over joint military drills with the South which Trump previously called "very provocative," echoing the North's rhetoric, before calling them off.
"The President can instantly start the joint exercises again with South Korea, and Japan, if he so chooses. If he does, they will be far bigger than ever before," Trump said.
The comments add to growing confusion over the joint drills, Anadolu Agency reported.
On Tuesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that while the US called off the summer wargames with the South, there are no plans currently in place to halt additional joint exercises.
"At this time, there is no discussion about further suspensions," Mattis said. "We're making no changes to the exercise program at this time."
The defense chief said Trump's decision to cancel exercises planned for this summer was a "good faith" measure following the president's historic sit-down with Kim in Singapore last June.
The US has conducted military drills with South Korea since the 1950s and has roughly 28,000 troops stationed there.