April 27, 2018 / 8:27 PM / a year ago

Diplomats to grapple with U.S. troop presence in South Korea: U.S. defense secretary

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis talks to the media before welcoming ceremony of Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday deferred questions about the future U.S. military presence on the Korean peninsula to diplomats, whom he said would deal with that and other issues should there be a peace agreement with North Korea.

“So I think for right now we just have to go along with the process, have the negotiations and not try to make preconditions or presumptions about how it is going to go. The diplomats are going to have to go to work now,” Mattis told reporters.

Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; editing by Grant McCool

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