Published: Fri, May 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump orders Pentagon to consider reducing U.S. forces in South Korea

Trump orders Pentagon to consider reducing U.S. forces in South Korea

The request reportedly anxious military officials who raised concerns that it could undercut USA ties with South Korea and alarm Japan.

The U.S. citizens - who have been held in the North on charges of espionage or "hostile acts" against the regime - might be set free through the border village of Panmunjom on Saturday, they said.

South Korea is looking towards the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un for a long lasting solution between the divided Koreas.

The Blue House was responding to media questions about a column written by South Korean presidential adviser and academic Moon Chung-in that was published earlier this week.

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According to the head of State, the presence of US soldiers "is part of the alliance" between Seoul and Washington, thus not having anything to do with the peace treaty, which if ratified, would replace the armistice of 1953 as the end of hostilities in the peninsula.

However, there was no mention in last week's declaration by Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un of the withdrawal of USA forces from South Korea. Among the contents is a promise that "South and North Korea will make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula". Kim and Moon Jae-in pledged to work for the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula.

The US troop presence in South Korea has always been viewed as a threat by the North Korean regime.

China, on Wednesday, said it meant to play a role in the Korean peninsula peace process.

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