The statement came hours after Trump and Kim signed an agreement stipulating "complete denuclearization" of North Korea.
The Pentagon was not immediately able to flesh out Trump's remarks about suspending drills, a move the USA military has long resisted.
The comments could fundamentally change the way the United States, whose alliance with Seoul was forged after a 1950 surprise attack by the North started the Korean War, operates in South Korea. Trump praised what had been achieved at the summit calling it a "new chapter" in relations with the North. He taunted Mr. Kim as "little rocket man", and warned that the USA would "totally destroy" North Korea. Multiple NBC reporters in contact with South Korean officials say they had no idea the exercises were part of the negotiations. "The country will welcome reducing the military exercises, as it could ease the decades-long tension on the Korean peninsula".
"At this moment, we need to figure out President Trump's accurate meaning and intention", a South Korean spokesperson said, according to CNN. "But at the same time it will worry in terms of the possible negative consequences, as the reduction could scare South Koreans". But as American and South Korean troops continued exercises, NorthKorean officials lashed out in several statements that led Trump to temporarily call off the summit. "The most important, hard part of this security issue is for the United States and North Korea to sit down to find a way to resolution via equal talks", Wang said. America maintains about 28,000 troops in South Korea at any given time.
A reduction in US troops on the Korean peninsula was not on the table in discussions with Kim, but Trump said that "at some point" he wants "to get our soldiers out".
He noted, however, that exercises could easily be restarted if needed.
U.S. forces in South Korea said it has "received no updated guidance on the execution or cessation of training exercises" and will continue to coordinate with South Korean partners and maintain the current posture until it receives an updated guidance from the Department of Defense or the Indo-Pacific Command. The agreement sought an end to North Korea's fledgling nuclear program with a goal of complete denuclearization, just as in Trump's deal. "My second question is, what did we receive in return for this concession?"