May 4, 2018 / 12:20 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. not seeking to reduce forces in South Korea: U.S. national security adviser

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has not asked the Pentagon for options to reduce U.S. forces based in South Korea, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a statement on Friday.

National security adviser John Bolton arrives for a joint news conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files

His comment comes after the New York Times, citing several people briefed on the deliberations, reported on Thursday that the president was seeking options to curb the number of American troops stationed in South Korea.

“The New York Times story is utter nonsense. The President has not asked the Pentagon to provide options for reducing American forces stationed in South Korea,” Bolton said.

Trump’s potential moves on the Korean peninsula come as the U.S. president is poised to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

The Trump administration is also engaged in efforts to secure the release of three Americans imprisoned in North Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his speech at the National Assembly hall in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lee Jin-man/Pool/Files

Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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