Jun 13, 2018 09:28 Asia/Tehran
  • Australia says end to South Korea-US war games not a certainty

Australia's foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, says stopping military exercises was not in the joint US-North Korea declaration.

The Australian government has cast doubt over whether Donald Trump has suspended military exercises with South Korea, noting that was not part of the joint declaration between the United States and North Korea.

On Wednesday the foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, said the suspension of war games –a surprise concession offered by the US president on Tuesday night that caught South Korea by surprise – was not in the official declaration but “president Trump spoke about it in answer to a question at a press conference”.

Bishop said on Wednesday morning:  "It was not part of the declaration, so we have to take the declaration as being the areas of agreement and build on that."

The US had previously ruled out suspending military exercises because they have been a big part of its military alliance with South Korea.

In return for the US suspending military exercises,  North Korea's leader , Kim Jong-un signed a joint statement committing to denuclearisation, but analysts say it was vaguely worded and included commitments Pyongyang had made several times before.

Bishop stressed the strength of the agreement between Trump and Kim Jong-un “will only be as good as the verification process that North Korea  allows.  We can only determine the success of this meeting by the outcomes, and that will take some time."

Bishop also said:  "North Korea has committed to a complete denuclearisation. We are yet to understand what North Korea means by denuclearisation."