>> The pentagon's been told to consider options for reducing US troop numbers in South Korea. President Trump told the pentagon to prepare options for a draw down of US forces, just weeks before a planned meeting between the US and North Korea. That's according to our report in the New York Times on Thursday.
It's not intended for a troop reduction to be a bargaining chip in negotiations between Trump and Mr. Kim. However officials sited in the report did say that a peace treaty between the Koreas could reduce the need for the more than 23,000 troops currently on the peninsula. Reducing US troop numbers in South Korea is something that President Trump has publicly argued for.
He says the US is not properly compensated for the cost of maintaining them and that having American forces on the peninsula for decades has not stopped the North from developing nuclear weapons. If the troops are to stay, Trump says he wants Seoul to shoulder more of the cost.
But South Korea's presidential office said they'd been told by a US National Security Council official that the story was not true. South Korea said earlier this week, the issue of US troops on the peninsula was not related to any future peace treaty. And that American forces should stay, even if a treaty was signed with the North.