Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Trump orders Pentagon to consider reducing USA troops in South Korea

The President’s assertion he would not cut the number of troops in the region comes despite claims he is looking at reducing America’s military presence in the South 'Date is set' for Kim summit
| 06 May, 2018, 00:01

"South Korea welcomed the move, saying it represents a decision to remove the obstacles in the path to inter-Korean and US-North Korean exchanges and cooperation that are to come", added Novak.

The U.S. has been demanding the release of the trio and Trump appeared to lay the blame for their detention with the Obama administration who he said "has always been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp".

Then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, before taking office as USA secretary of state, met Kim last month and reported the North Korean leader was not demanding the withdrawal of all US forces as a precondition for a summit with Trump.

For a quarter-century North Korea has said it will reduce its nuclear weaponry in return for diplomatic relations with the US, starting with a presidential summit. He has previously said that it would happen in May or June and still is not providing details but simply said that a time and date had been agreed upon and would be announced soon.

This is due to two reasons. Trump's base is presently enamoured with the idea of him winning a Nobel Peace Prize. The government has taken criticism for putting North Korea's numerous human rights violations on the back burner in pursuit of peace and whatever that might include. Even before the summit, China had said it will honour their 1961 military pact with North Korea, raising the risk of a super-power nuclear war if America strikes the North. Sanctions require Chinese compliance to be effective.


Trump touted his ability to achieve a nuclear deal with the regime at a campaign-style rally in MI to cheers and chants of "Nobel!" "We will keep doing this for the people of North Korea", Fighters for a Free North Korea leader Park Sang-hak told Yonhap news agency. If he indeed concedes troop reductions for North Korea's denuclearisation, then the message going out to the world could be not as positive as it seemed earlier. In contrast, I predict, the North will suggest a slower approach and extend the discussion to American weapons.

South Korean aviation officials are still weighing the proposal, which was requested by North Korea in February.

The North and the South have recently stated that US military bases can remain in South Korea - an unprecedented Northern concession.

The Peace House at the DMZ was the venue for a meeting last month between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Trump is the largest unknown.

Kim also slammed speculation during his meeting with Moon that the Punggye-ri test site was already unusable after an underground tunnel there reportedly collapsed. "The last administration had a policy of silence".

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