Trump's remarks contradicted decades of assertions by US administrations that military exercises in South Korea are defensive and essential to ensuring that allied forces are ready at a moment's notice to fight the North.
"He was not surprised, he was consulted", she added.
The exercises allow US and South Korean forces to practice mobilizing soldiers in the event of conflict, and to run computer simulations to improve coordination between the two militaries.
USA officials and the North Korean state news agency struck a hopeful tone as the meeting approached, while negotiators from both countries met privately in the last hours to iron out agreements, such as over the definition of denuclearisation and the terms under which Pyongyang might agree to dismantle its nuclear arsenal.
That U.S. command said it had "received no updated guidance on the execution or cessation of training exercises". "And he sat down and asked me, 'Hey, Dennis, I would like to ask you three things, if you go back to tell the president of the United States these three things, and I would be willing to talk to him'". "I hope people can put this behind", he added.
The U.S. has stationed combat troops in South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 war and has used them in a variety of large-scale drills created to sharpen skills and test troops' ability to operate effectively with their South Korean partners.
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The administration was roundly criticized for its performance after Maria struck, and hundreds of thousands in the USA territory remain without electricity.
"Creating friction with a key ally with an issue like that may have been a mistake, frankly", he told AFP.
That was exactly what Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom Trump now calls his "dear friend", wanted to hear.
Trump said that after exchanging verbal barbs - with Trump calling Kim "little rocket man" and Kim calling Trump "a dotard" - the two men grew to further respect each other.
Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said it was "troubling" that Trump had agreed to suspend joint drills without making any reference to North Korea dialling back its conventional military threat. After years of building a friendship with Kim through multiple visits to Pyongyang and their shared love of basketball, Rodman suggested that he played a supporting role in laying the groundwork that ultimately led to the summit by bringing "awareness" to North Korea.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he was concerned that none of North Korea's human rights violations were addressed.
"This guy wants to be around the world", he said.
"The fashion industry could have at least produced a Trump-Kim t-shirt to celebrate their big step toward peace on the peninsula".
"Trump, has undermined global agreements and has unilaterally withdrawn from them", Nobakht noted on Tuesday, alluding to the Trump administration's decision to violate the nuclear deal, which is vastly more comprehensive than the "thin" and extremely vague joint statement Trump and Kim signed at the close of their summit.