Trump orders Pentagon to consider reducing United States troops in South Korea

Trump orders Pentagon to consider reducing United States troops in South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Inspects a newly built catfish farm in Sunchon, North Korea last November, shortly before the country launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.

It said president argues that America is not adequately compensated for the cost of maintaining them, and also that the troops are mainly protecting Japan and that decades of American military presence had not prevented the North from becoming a nuclear threat.

But Trump added that "at some point in the future, I'd like to save the money" that it costs to base 30,000 troops on the peninsula, a security arrangement that has been in place since the Korean War armistice in 1953.

"No, no no", Trump said, when asked about a New York Times report that he had instructed the Pentagon to develop options on troop removal.

The president spoke from the White House South Lawn before departing for Dallas. "We will keep doing this for the people of North Korea", Fighters for a Free North Korea leader Park Sang-hak told Yonhap news agency.

Mr Trump has previously expressed a preference for meeting in the demilitarized zone between the North and South, but Singapore is also an option.

The rally is scheduled to close the 15th North Korea Freedom Week, an annual event beginning in the last week of April that focuses on raising awareness about the human rights situation in the authoritarian state.

Kim is to meet with Trump in May or early June.

The New York Times reported Friday that Trump ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for drawing down US troops in South Korea, just weeks before he meets with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

Amid easing tensions between the US and North Korea, those within Trump's orbit have hinted that the hostages would soon be released.

Plans for a meeting between Trump and Kim follow months of angry exchanges between the two over Pyongyang's testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, including some theoretically capable of reaching the United States mainland.

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