Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump has not asked for options for reducing US forces in South Korea, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Friday, denying a report to the contrary as “utter nonsense.”
His statement came in response to a story by The New York Times that the president has ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for drawing down the 28,500-strong US force.
“The New York Times story is utter nonsense,” Bolton said. “The president has not asked the Pentagon to provide options for reducing American forces stationed in South Korea.”
The Times report, which cited several unidentified officials briefed on the deliberations, said reduced troop levels were not intended to be a bargaining chip in Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
But officials acknowledged that a peace treaty between the two Koreas could diminish the need for the US forces, The Times said.