05 May, 2018
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.
U.S. President Donald Trump strongly suggested Thursday (Korean time) that North Korea is ready to release its American "hostages" after a South Korean activist earlier claimed the three detainees had been moved from a labor camp to a hotel.
"The trip is being scheduled", Trump said.
He said: "We now have a date and we have a location".
"Recovery time is the first practical step taken after the historic third meeting between the DPRK and South Korea at the highest level to accelerate the process of unification of the North and South and the transformation of their differences in common objects", - stated in the message.
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Trump has expressed a preference for the Korean Demilitarized Zone, which he said would provide a celebratory backdrop should the talks succeed.
Speaking to reporters before boarding Air Force One, Trump says: "Troops are not on the table".
Trump had suggested during his campaign that he was open to potentially reduce USA troop presence in South Korea and Japan.
That also included the status of United States troops on the Korean Peninsula, which Trump has stated publicly must be reconsidered as he focuses on rebuilding the American economy. In March, Washington and Seoul began negotiations on how much South Korea should offset the costs of the deployment in the coming years. "South and North Korea shared the view that the measures being initiated by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agreed to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in this regard", the two leaders wrote in a joint statement.
"We're having very substantive talks with North Korea and a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages", said Mr Trump on Friday.