President Donald Trump explained why he decided to cancel ongoing war games and military exercises on the Korean peninsula during his recent summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a Wednesday tweet:
We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith – which both sides are!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
Trump first explained his decision, which was not part of the joint communiqué released by the U.S. and North Korea, at a press conference following his summit.
“[War games] are tremendously expensive. The amount of money we spend on that is incredible,” Trump said, adding “What I did say is — and I think it is provocative — when I see that, and you have a country right next door. Under the circumstances, we are negotiating a comprehensive and complete deal. It is inappropriate to have war games. Number one, we save money. A lot. Number two, it is really something they very much appreciated.”
Trump’s canceling of military exercises has proven controversial with several critics saying he has given up a major leverage point for the U.S. towards North Korea for little concessions from the regime. Trump has justified his move with the cost of the exercises and saying the U.S. has received much in return.
Heading back home from Singapore after a truly amazing visit. Great progress was made on the denuclearization of North Korea. Hostages are back home, will be getting the remains of our great heroes back to their families, no missiles shot, no research happening, sites closing…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018