The Pentagon says it has formally suspended a major military exercise planned for August with South Korea, a much-anticipated move stemming from US President Donald Trump's nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The announcement says all planning for the exercise has been stopped.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White says the department has made no decisions on other military exercises with South Korea. Exercises with other countries in the Pacific will continue.

Trump's abrupt decision to cancel what he called provocative and expensive "war games" appeared to catch US defence officials by surprise last week and ran counter to long-held American arguments that the drills are critical for effective operations with allies.


The Pentagon has for years flatly denied North Korean assertions that the exercises are "provocative."

Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss Syria, North Korea and plans for future US-Russian contacts.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov and Pompeo focused on the Syrian settlement and also talked about "consolidating efforts to solve the problems of the Korean Peninsula."

It added that they also discussed "some aspects of bilateral relations, including the schedule of political contacts between Russia and the US for the near future."