Trump’s vow to end military drills with Seoul stuns a region

SINGAPORE (AP) — President Donald Trump rocked the region with the stunning announcement Tuesday that he was halting annual U.S.-South Korean military drills — and wants to remove the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in the South as a deterrent against North Korea.

Trump’s surprise, almost 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.

The remarks contradicted countless previous declarations by U.S. political and military officials over the years that the drills are routine, defensive and absolutely critical.

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