Ex-CIA chief: Trump made ‘pretty significant concession’ by stopping war games with South Korea
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Former CIA Director Michael Hayden called President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE’s decision to suspend joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula a “pretty significant concession” by the U.S. to North Korea.

“The president obviously made a judgment that he needs that concession in order to keep this process moving forward,” Hayden told CNN’s "New Day" on Tuesday morning.

“But John, that is the only concession that was made in yesterday’s talks,” Hayden said. "The North Koreans did not come with anything new."


"The new element is that we agreed to stop our annual exercise cycle with our South Koreans allies," Hayden continued. "That's actually a pretty significant concession."

The former CIA chief went on to say that the U.S. already had a “fairly light footprint” in South Korea prior to Trump’s concession. 

“The whole defense of South Korea is based upon our ability in the South and North Korea's knowledge of our ability to flow forces to the peninsula quickly for the defense of South Korea,” Hayden said, further adding that the president’s use of the word “provocative” to describe the military war games “unfortunately takes the language out of the North Korean propaganda machine.”

Trump announced after he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday that he would suspend joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula. 

By making such an announcement, the president got rid of a sticking point for Pyongyang, which has repeatedly said in the past that the drills are a pretext for a strike on the North.

The Pentagon has said the exercises are essential to alliance-building and military readiness.

South Korea said shortly after the announcement that it needs to figure out the "precise meaning" of Trump's decision.