President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for drawing down US troops in South Korea, weeks before he is scheduled to hold a landmark meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, according to several people briefed on the deliberations.
Reduced US troop levels were not meant to be a bargaining chip in Trump's planned summit in late May or early June with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, about Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
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Now the New York Times reports that Trump has ordered the Pentagon to draw up options for reducing the number of USA troops in South Korea. A spokesman for the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colonel Patrick Ryder, said he had no information on the Pentagon preparing troop options for the president. We want to see our American citizens brought home. They emphasized that rethinking the size and configuration of the US force was overdue, regardless of the sudden flowering of diplomacy with North Korea. "Stay tuned!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
"With an explicit commitment from North Korea to 'complete denuclearization, ' South Korea has laid the groundwork for the Trump-Kim meeting that is anticipated to occur in late May".
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Former New York City Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said the three would be released on Thursday. "He had been living in Rason, North Korea, in a special economic zone where he ran a trading and hotel services company". He had been teaching accounting at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology known as PUST.
Tony Kim, a US citizen in his late 50s briefly taught accounting at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, or PUST, the only privately run university in the country - funded largely by evangelical Christians in the United States and China, USA Today reports.
A fourth American detainee, Otto Warmbier, died in June 2017 - just days after he was repatriated to the USA with severe brain damage. Kim Dong-chul was arrested in October 2016 and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor on charges of spying.
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Tester spokeswoman Marnee Banks said the office would not comment until it knew more about the White House records. Trump , as he is wont to do when he has blundered, lashed out after the Jackson nomination imploded.
Last week, Warmbier's parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against North Korea in US federal court, alleging that the Kim regime had tortured and killed their son.