The announcement comes after the historic summit in Singapore between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.
To China, the agreement sounded like one they had been pushing all along, a "suspension for suspension", where the USA stops military drills with South Korea in exchange for North Korea halting missile and nuclear tests.
"We're going to get complete denuclearisation and only then are we going to lift sanctions", Mr Pompeo added.
South Korea lives under constant threat of an attack by North Korea, and the country's leadership has promoted the idea of diplomatic negotiations as a result. -South Korean military exercises. The drills help keep U.S. forces at a state of readiness in one of the world's most tense flashpoints. "But we'll be saving a tremendous amount of money, plus I think it's very provocative", Mr Trump said.
The announcement apparently caught USA allies including Seoul as well as the United States military off guard. "The lethal envelope of advanced air-defense systems continues to grow against our 4th Generation aircraft", General Mark Welsh, the former chief of staff for the U.S. Air Force, said in a statement.
Current and former U.S. defence officials expressed concern at the possibility that the United States would unilaterally halt military exercises without an explicit concession from North Korea that lowers the threat from Pyongyang.
Contrasting the Trump policy with previous USA administrations, Pompeo said: "In the past, they were providing economic and financial relief before. complete denuclearisation had taken place". Both Moon and Xi have advocated a phased approach to negotiations and moved to quickly fix ties with North Korea, while Japan wants the US -led "maximum pressure" campaign to continue.
But the summit statement reference to North Korea committing to work toward the complete denuclearization of the peninsula has used been by North Korea in the past to include a US nuclear umbrella in the region, and echoes promises it has failed to keep.
Signatures of the two leaders on the summit document. "At the point it's concluded that they are not, the president's commitment to not have those joint exercises take place will no longer be in effect", Pompeo said. -South Korean military exercises, and an American guarantee of the Kim regime's survival, Kim will have obtained all that he has sought while America could never be sure that Pyongyang was pursuing its nuclear weapons program in underground military bases that no inspector would be permitted to enter.
"Today, we had a historic meeting and chose to leave the past behind", Kim said, speaking through a translator. "He had a lot to do with us being here today", Trump said. "Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough". And we call them war games, that I call them war games, and they're tremendously expensive, the amount of money that we spend on that is incredible.
"So amusing to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN", the president tweeted. I mean, that could very well be the future. "And the issue is now, where do we go from here - whether we can maintain momentum from the summit and start putting flesh on those bones".