Withdrawing US Troops from South Korea 'Not no the Table'

Saul Bowman
May 5, 2018

The meeting has been expected to take place late this month or in early June.

The time change was made nearly exactly one week after North and South Korean leaders held a historic inter-Korean summit in a town near the Demilitarized Zone between their two countries. But some advisers have cautioned that traveling there could appear conciliatory to Kim, and have suggested more neutral ground such as Singapore.

President Trump says the details around the date and location of the talks will be announced soon.

"Troops are not on the table", he said.

He denied on Friday he would use troop levels as a bargaining chip with Kim. "But I'll see you over there". "We have 32,000 troops there".

"We now have a date and we have a location, we'll be announcing it soon", Mr Trump told United States journalists outside the White House on Friday, adding that he was expecting "very, very good things" to come out it.

The New York Times reported that Trump has asked the Pentagon to prepare options plans for drawing down American troops. Bolton on Friday disputed the claim, calling it "utter nonsense".

In March, Mr Trump hailed the "great progress" made with North Korea after he said he agreed to meet with Kim Jong Un by May this year.

Bolton also told Chung in a phone call Thursday evening the report was untrue, according to a USA official. "As I said yesterday, stay tuned", Trump said, referring to an earlier tweet on the issue.

The Times report, which cited several unidentified officials briefed on the deliberations, said reduced troop levels were not meant to be a bargaining chip in Trump's upcoming summit with Kim.

North Korea's request to establish the new routes to South Korea is now under "consideration", the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said. "The Department of Defense remains committed to supporting the maximum pressure campaign, developing and maintaining military options for the president, and reinforcing our ironclad security commitment with our allies".

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