United States President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to review downsizing American troops stationed in South Korea, a U.S. news report said Friday.
The president told the Department of Defense to "prepare options for drawing down American troops in South Korea" in the run-up to his landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the following weeks, the New York Times reported. The news outlet cited several people briefed on the order.
The downsizing is not designed as a "bargaining chip" in Trump's talks with Kim, but a peace treaty between the two Koreas could diminish the need for the presence of more than 20,000 American soldiers on the South side of the Korean Peninsula, the report said.
The Times also attributed the downsizing order to the ongoing negotiations between Washington and Seoul over how to share the cost of keeping the U.S. forces on the peninsula.
Trump has been determined to withdraw the troops, arguing that the U.S. is not adequately compensated for the cost, according to the report.
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