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Trump calls ROK-U.S. military exercises 'ridiculous and expensive'

Trump calls ROK-U.S. military exercises 'ridiculous and expensive'

Posted August. 12, 2019 07:31,   

Updated August. 12, 2019 07:31


President Donald Trump of the U.S. called the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises “ridiculous and expensive” on Saturday (local time) via Twitter. The president’s tweet on the cost aspect of the bilateral alliance, which is directly related to the security issue, was posted 15 hours after North Korea launched two missiles assumed to be short-range ballistic missiles.

President Trump who began his 10-day vacation at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Friday mentioned a three-page letter that he received from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday. “It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was also a small apology for testing the short-range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end,” the U.S. president said in his tweet.

President Trump also added, “I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear-free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!” Some predict that the working-level talks for North Korea’s denuclearization, which have reached a deadlock, will resume at the end of this month after the ROK-U.S. joint military exercises scheduled to be held from August 11 to 20 are over.

In light of the president’s tweet mentioning the cost issue of the joint military exercises, U.S. media companies raised both criticism and concerns over the president “taking North Korea’s side.” The Washington Post published an article titled, “Trump again appears to take North Korea’s side against his own military, allies,” and said, “He offered no rebuttal to the idea that the exercises were not worthwhile, even though his own military says they are vital to maintain combat readiness.”

Yong Park parky@donga.com