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.
"So, we're not going to be doing the war games as long as we're negotiating in good faith", Trump said. "Plus, I think it's very provocative".
"We're not there yet", he said.
"It's important for us to remember that it's largely words at this point, and that we have to look for actions, particularly from North Korea", Panetta said during an interview with FOX Business' Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.
Trump's surprise, nearly offhand comments, made during a news conference after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, seemingly upended decades of the U.S. defense posture on the Korean Peninsula. He added that the issue requires consultations between the allies.
But as President Trump receives heapings of praise and skepticism, Vice President Mike Pence and a GOP lawmaker are sending conflicting messages over whether the United States will officially end military drills off the Korean peninsula.
The US side seeks denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula under terms that give US and worldwide authorities broad power to inspect nuclear reactors in North Korea at any time they choose to verify parts of a potential denuclearization agreement.
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And what "exactly was the president committing to?" he added.
On 'Hannity, ' President Trump takes Americans inside his meeting with Kim Jong Un. "Well I think without the rhetoric we wouldn't have been here".
"There were no surprises", she said.
Trump told the press that he wants to "bring them (U.S. troops) back home", but that the issue is "not part of the equation right now".
In a later interview with the Voice of America, Trump said the North Koreas were "very happy" about his decision to freeze the exercises "because it is so provocative".
U.S. 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.