"Creating friction with a key ally with an issue like that may have been a mistake, frankly", he told AFP.
Added Trump: "So, I think the rhetoric, I hated to do it".
"It's important for us to remember that it's largely words at this point, and that we have to look for actions, particularly from North Korea", Panetta said during an interview with FOX Business' Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.
MSNBC's special coverage of the Trump-Kim summit finished second in total viewers with 2.378 million.
"A lot of people, critics quickly saying when you said "Little Rocket Man" or 'fire and fury, ' or when he said, 'Oh, I've got a red button on my desk, ' and you said, 'Well, mine's bigger and it works better than yours, ' how did it evolve from that to this?"
South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke by phone with Trump for 20 minutes late on Tuesday, but an official readout of the call made no mention of military exercises.
U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration on Tuesday that he meant to end joint military exercises in Korea seemed to be news to both South Korean and U.S. military officials.
"There were no surprises", she said.
USA officials and the North Korean state news agency struck a hopeful tone as the meeting approached, while negotiators from both countries met privately in the last hours to iron out agreements, such as over the definition of denuclearisation and the terms under which Pyongyang might agree to dismantle its nuclear arsenal. Drills called Team Spirit, one of the largest annual military maneuvers in the world at the time, were held from 1976 until 1993, when, after North Korea agreed to dismantle its existing nuclear facilities, the exercises were canceled and have not been held since.
Trump also seemed annoyed that US bomber aircraft make six-plus hour flights from the Pacific island of Guam to the Korean peninsula as part of its exercise routine.
Exercises with South Korea cover a range of eventualities, including drills with nuclear-capable bombers.
Hannity, who sat down with Trump for an interview after the summit, even compared Tuesday's event to former President Ronald Reagan's meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the height of the Cold War.
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