Japan expresses concern over cessation of joint US-South Korea Drills

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera expressed concern on Wednesday about US President Donald Trump’s intention to terminate joint military drills with South Korea, Kyodo news agency reported.

“The US-South Korean exercises and US forces in South Korea play significant roles in the security of East Asia… Resolving nuclear, missile and abduction issues are our final aim… We would like to ask North Korea to make policy changes in a visible way,” Onodera said, expressing concern about Trump’s plans to suspend the joint exercises with Seoul.

According to Onodera, Japan will continue maintaining pressure on North Korea.

Earlier in the day, Trump told the Fox News broadcaster in an interview that the United States is “not going to be doing the war games as long as we’re negotiating in good faith” with North Korea. According to Trump, the suspension of joint exercises with South Korea will help to save a lot of money.

On Tuesday, Trump held a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. After the summit, the sides signed a final document, which included the agreement to establish new bilateral relations, as well as the decision to join efforts to “build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.” In the final document, Pyongyang reaffirmed its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, while the United States pledged to provide security guarantees.

During the summit, the two leaders agreed to continue the dialogue and accepted each other’s invitations to visit North Korea and the United States.


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