"War games are very expensive," he said, raising the issue of their cost.
"I think it is very provocative...You have a country that is right next door," he added, referring to the communist state.
His remarks underscored his apparent transactional approach to diplomacy.
Amid the growing mood for reconciliation, the possibility has emerged that Seoul and Washington could consider scaling back the regular annual drills, including the summertime Ulchi Freedom Guardian.
But conservatives in the South argued that any change to the exercises plans could lead to a weakening of the security alliance, the centerpiece of deterrence against the North's possible aggression.