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The headline acts may have departed the stage but there’s still plenty of activity in the wings.
President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un returned home Wednesday, with commentators left to debate the merits of their unprecedented summit in Singapore.
For Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, his work in the region isn’t over.
On Wednesday, he flew to the South Korean capital of Seoul for meetings with Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
One of the unexpected outcomes of the talks was Trump’s revelation that he had agreed to pause joint military exercises with South Korea.
This appeared to blindside both the Pentagon and South Korea’s military, and was criticized by some experts as giving away a huge concession for little in return.
In Japan, which has seen North Korean missile tests fly over its territory, the prospect was met with concern.
“The U.S.-South Korea joint exercises and U.S. forces in South Korea play significant roles for the security in East Asia,” Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.