The final deal over the North Korean problem is yet to be signed, and the US wants South Korea and China to be part of it. "So I think the rhetoric - I hated to do it, sometimes I felt foolish doing it - but we had no choice".
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.
One South Korean official said he initially thought Trump had mis-spoke. "In coordination with our ROK [Republic of Korea] partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance", a spokesperson told Reuters.
Trump and Kim signed a document that calls for Pyongyang to work "toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". He taunted Mr. Kim as "little rocket man", and warned that the USA would "totally destroy" North Korea. He also noted that the drills are quite expensive and the move will save a considerable amount of money for the USA budget.
He said he thinks holding the (quote)"wargames" is very provocative when there's a reconciliatory mood building between Washington and Pyongyang.
In a statement signed by both leaders, the countries agreed to the recovery of the remains and the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
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He said previous administrations "had a policy of silence".
North Korea and the United States remain technically at war because the fighting ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
"South Korea will have mixed feelings toward Trump's remarks", said Lee Il-woo, a director at Korea Defense Network in Seoul. There are also annual springtime drills. -North Korea military search teams conducted over 30 recovery missions and recovered 229 sets of American remains.
"The core of the U.S".
A spokeswoman for USA military forces in Korea, meanwhile, said it had not received any direction to cease joint military drills.
"Well, I think without the rhetoric, we wouldn't have been here", Trump said of the summit.
Foster Klug is AP's bureau chief in South Korea and has covered the Koreas since 2005.
Associated Press writers Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul and Gillian Wong in Beijing contributed to this report.