Trump at a news conference Tuesday after the summit suddenly announced that he would end "provocative" and "expensive" joint military operations between the US and South Korea, declaring "I think it's inappropriate to have war games" while negotiations were underway.
Canada's small community of North Korean defectors has been shocked and infuriated by Trump's contrasting treatment of the two leaders: insults for Justin Trudeau after the G7 meeting in Quebec and flattery for Kim Jong-un at the summit in Singapore.
Annual military drills between the United States and South Korea have been a major source of tension on the Korean Peninsula. "No longer - sleep well tonight!"
Despite Trump's optimism following his summit with Kim, many remained skeptical that North Korea, infamous on the world stage for making empty promises, especially when it comes to its nuclear program, would follow through on its pledges from this week's meetings. No details of what those steps would be were given.
Last year, about 50,000 South Korean and 17,500 USA troops participated in Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, billed as the world's largest command-and-control exercise and aimed at defending against a North Korean attack. The two sides promised to hold follow-up negotiations. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., slammed Trump for his apparent display of affection towards the North Korean leader.
There were worries, especially in Tokyo and Seoul, which have huge USA military presences, about Trump agreeing to halt US military exercises with South Korea, which the North has long claimed were invasion preparations. "I don't think Jong-un will give them up".
"If diplomacy doesn't move in the right direction, sanctions will increase", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says.
"I suppose we could argue semantics, but let me assure you it's in the document", Pompeo said.
Trump struck an optimistic tone about his talks with Kim. The president had announced a halt in the drills after his meeting with Kim on Tuesday.
"I don't know exactly what form that will take, but I'm very confident that by some time in the next week or so we will begin the engagement". "(North Korea) and the development of the situation".
Presenter James Corden also got in on the action, wondering whether Trump's "touch and feel" comment was in fact a clever ploy to get what he wanted out of the meeting. "I just have to be honest with you, it's a game, it's a game, and one ought not play games with serious matters like this".
"Otto did not die in vain". Trump cast that decision as a cost-saving measure, but also called the exercises "inappropriate" while talks continue. "We're hopeful that we can achieve that in the 2-1/2 years".
"The secretary is in full alignment with the president to meet his goal, which is denuclearization of the peninsula", Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White said.