The US had previously ruled out such a move on the grounds that the exercises were a key element of its military alliance with Seoul and deterrent against North Korea.
In return for the US concession, Kim signed a joint statement committing to denuclearisation, but it was a vaguely worded commitment that the regime has made several times before over the past three decades. Asked what would be different this time, Trump pointed to his instincts as a dealmaker.
“We got to know each other well in a very confined period of time,” Trump told reporters. “I know when somebody wants to deal and I know when somebody doesn’t.”
As proof of Kim’s good intentions, Trump said Kim had offered to destroy a missile engine testing site. “I got that after we signed the agreement,” he recalled. “I said: do me a favour. You have this missile engine testing site … I said can you close it up. He’s going to close it up.”