Mattis says US will keep current troop levels in South Korea

Jim Mattis, Song Young-moo
The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has reassured his South Korean counterpart that the U.S. will maintain its current number of troops on the Korean Peninsula.

Mattis told Defense Minister Song Young-moo in Seoul on Thursday that the American commitment to South Korea remains ironclad.

The U.S. has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea.

Mattis met with Song during a brief stopover on his way from China to Japan.

His stop clearly carried a message of reassurance to the South Koreans in the wake of the cancellation of a major joint military exercise planned for later this year. Mattis said the U.S. commitment includes keeping “current U.S. force levels” on the peninsula.