South Korea’s Moon: Reaching accord with North Korea could take years

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Other current and former USA defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters they were surprised by the announcement and expressed concern about lowering the readiness of American military personnel on the Korean peninsula.

"The world will see a major change", the North Korean leader said.

His statement was quickly portrayed by critics as a major, unreciprocated concession to a country that only past year was threatening Seoul and Washington with nuclear war.

The comments came on the eve of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

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But analysts said with the easing of tensions, China and South Korea were not likely to continue fully enforcing the tough measures needed to make sure North Korea makes good on its latest promises.

Many are freaking out over Trump's real estate comments, but it's hard to tell how seriously he meant them and, hey, capitalist development has helped defang dictators at least as bad as Kim. The South Korean military seemed similarly surprised.

US military forces in Korea have not received any direction to cease joint military drills, a spokesman said on Tuesday, after US President Donald Trump said war games would be ended amid talks with North Korea.

"What is most troubling about all this is that the US gave up something tangible, namely, US-RoK military exercises, in exchange", he added, using the abbreviation for South Korea's official name.

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A joint exercise earlier this year involving more than 300,000 South Korean and US troops was delayed to accommodate the Winter Olympics and was ultimately abbreviated by two weeks compared to the previous year.

DPRK stands for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"Unfortunately, we do not know if Kim has made a strategic decision to denuclearise and it is unclear if further negotiations will lead to the end goal of denuclearisation", said Anthony Ruggiero, senior fellow at Washington's Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank. "The plus one no longer exists and, under these circumstances, we have to wait and see how these six countries will react to this agreement". But we'll be saving a tremendous amount of money. He called the regular training sessions between USA and South Korean forces "very provocative" and costly.

Speaking to the news media after the summit, Trump said he would call Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the talks. North Korea last month broke off a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in a two-week military exercise with the United States.

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"Now would not be the time to ease global sanctions against North Korea".