Trump announces date, location of his meeting with N.Korean leader

Casey Dawson
May 5, 2018

In a symbolic move meant to showcase North Korea's willingness to pursue a permanent peace treaty with South Korea, Pyongyang set its clocks 30 minutes forward on Friday (Saturday, Korea time) to sync up its time with Seoul. The White House said it did not have any announcements to deliver on Friday morning after Trump spoke.

The talks, expected by early June, would amount to a historic opening with the hermit kingdom.

And while Trump said he was not envisaging a drawdown of troops in South Korea for now - something the regime in Pyongyang has long wanted - he admitted it was a possibility in the longer term.

North Korea pushed back its standard time by 30 minutes in August 2015, claiming the move was aimed at removing the vestige of Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Trump is addressing a report that he had asked the Pentagon to prepare plans for scaling back the USA military presence in South Korea, as he has complained that South Korea does not do enough to financially support that commitment.

The White House is denying a published report that President Donald Trump is seeking options to reduce the US troop presence on the Korean peninsula. The President and his allies have expressed optimism that the prisoners will be released ahead of the summit.

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US National Security Advisor John Bolton earlier denied as "utter nonsense" a New York Times report saying Trump had asked the Pentagon for options to prepare for drawing down the 28,500-strong US force.

"The president has not asked the Pentagon to provide options for reducing American forces stationed in South Korea", he told reporters in Washington.

The heads of North and South Korea last month signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula during the first meeting between leaders of the two countries in 10 years.

Trump has praised his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping's efforts on North Korea, calling them a "great help". The request has been supported by the air authorities of the South, according to the ICAO's statement.

Just Thursday, the president's newest lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, announced that the administration had gotten Kim Jong Un to agree to a release.

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