SINGAPORE (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump made a stunning concession to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday about halting military exercises, pulling a surprise at a summit that baffled allies, military officials and lawmakers from his own Republican Party.
At a news conference after the historic meeting with Kim in Singapore, Trump announced he would halt what he called “very provocative” and expensive regular military exercises that the United States stages with South Korea.
That was sure to rattle close allies South Korea and Japan.
North Korea has long sought an end to the war games.
Trump and Kim promised in a joint statement to work toward the “denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, and the United States promised its Cold War foe security guarantees. But they offered few specifics.
The summit, the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, was in stark contrast to a flurry of North Korean nuclear and missile tests and angry exchanges of insults between Trump and Kim last year that fueled worries about war.
Highlighting the change in tone, North Korea’s state-run news agency reported early on Wednesday that Kim and Trump had accepted invitations to visit each other’s countries. No dates were disclosed.
Noting past North Korean promises to denuclearize, many analysts cast doubt on how effective Trump had been at obtaining Washington’s pre-summit goal of getting North Korea to undertake complete,…