The Slatest

Trump Insists Ending “War Games” With South Korea Was His Idea, Not Kim’s

President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he walks with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un during a break in talks at their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018.
President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he walks with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un during a break in talks at their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. ANTHONY WALLACE/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is angry. In a Sunday morning tweetstorm, the commander in chief made it clear he is quite upset that he isn’t getting the credit that he thinks he deserves for the deal that he reached with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Pushing back on the narrative that the suspension of joint military exercises with South Korea was a big win for Kim, Trump said it was actually his idea. “Holding back the ‘war games’ during the negotiations was my request because they are VERY EXPENSIVE and set a bad light during a good faith negotiation,” Trump wrote. “Also, quite provocative.” The president emphasized the exercises can “start up immediately if talks break down.”

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That was one of a series of tweets in which Trump complained of the lack of credit he is receiving for a deal that “is being praised and celebrated all over Asia.” But in the United States, “some people would rather see this historic deal fail than give Trump a win, even if it does save potentially millions & millions of lives!”

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The president also directed a tweet toward Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, who has been critical of the agreement saying that it had no real substance. “Are you sure you got that right? No more nuclear testing or rockets flying all over the place, blew up launch sites,” the president tweeted. “Hostages already back, hero remains coming home & much more!”

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The president sent his tweets amid expectation that South Korea and the United States will be announcing the suspension of “large-scale” military drills later this week. South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Sunday that the deal would specify that the drills could restart if North Korea fails to keep its promise of moving toward denuclearization. Even if they’re willing to agree to it now, there seems to be a consensus that both South Korea and the Pentagon were thrown off guard by the announcement. Even though Defense Secretary James Mattis has officially said he was not surprised by the move, analysts aren’t so sure that feeling is shared throughout the Pentagon.

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