February 22, 2019 / 8:41 PM / 10 months ago

Trump: Decreasing troops in South Korea not on table for North Korea talks

FILE PHOTO: South Korean and U.S. Marines take part in a winter military drill in Pyeongchang, South Korea, December 19, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday that drawing down U.S. troops in South Korea is not on the table for his upcoming talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, which will be focused on pressing the Asian nation to abandon nuclear weapons.

Trump made the comments at a White House event on trade negotiations with China.

Senior Trump administration officials said on Thursday the two sides will not discuss removing U.S. troops from South Korea and will focus on seeking a common understanding of what it means to denuclearize when they meet in Vietnam at the end of the month.

The United States keeps some 28,500 troops in South Korea.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Jeff Mason; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Sonya Hepinstall

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