Trump sides with Kim criticism of US-SKorea war games

Erika Holt
August 10, 2019

His comments came a day after North Korea test-fired two short-range ballistic missiles in what it called a warning against joint military exercises being conducted by Seoul and Washington.

Esper's visit also comes as the calling on Seoul to pay more for the upkeep of the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea.

Trump said he'd received the letter on Thursday. I´ve never been a fan.

"He wasn't happy with the war games".

The drills were a "flagrant violation" of the diplomatic process between Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul, Kim´s government said.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry says cost-sharing talks have not officially started. "They have to get along with each other". "We will go in and protect them with our lives and with our treasure".

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019.

That was an increase of 8.2% from the previous annual contribution but far short of US demands, which some reports placed as high as $1 billion.

Yet even after their abortive second summit in Hanoi in February, Trump has been loath to criticize the North Korean leader.

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"I think we'll have another meeting", he said. But if provocations with missile launches continue near tourist spots, it is doubtful how many from the South will disregard their safety for a vacation on the Kalma Peninsula.

On Tuesday, North Korea carried out its fourth missile test in 12 days, ratcheting up tensions in the region. "The missile tests have all been short-range, no ballistic missile tests, no long-range missiles", Trump said, although the Pentagon has determined that all four rounds were of short-range ballistic missiles.

But the broader Trump administration´s position is less enthusiastic.

The sale was approved after Trump tweeted Wednesday that the two countries had entered negotiations on South Korea paying for the defense umbrella the United States provides the country.

"The missile launches, any kind of provocations, are not helpful to advancing the cause of diplomacy", the official said.

"They've agreed to pay a lot more, and they will agree to pay a lot more than that", he said.

Also drawing attention is whether tough and sensitive issues will also be on the table, including Seoul's possible participation in the USA -led coalition to safeguard the Strait of Hormuz off Iran amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Trump also touted the success of his engagement with Kim in bringing home the remains of US service members killed in the Korean War.

Trump said Kim told him in the letter that he was upset about recent U.S.

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