Ahead of meeting with Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump says withdrawal of US troops from South Korea not under consideration

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Updated: February 23, 2019 11:23:34 AM

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27 and 28. Previously, they met in June last year in Singapore for the first summit.

Asked if he was considering drawing down US troops from South Korea as part of any agreement with Kim, the President replied in the negative.

US President Donald Trump has ruled out the possibility of withdrawing American troops from South Korea as part of any deal with North Korea. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27 and 28. Previously, they met in June last year in Singapore for the first summit. Asked if he was considering drawing down US troops from South Korea as part of any agreement with Kim, the President replied in the negative. “No, it’s not. That is not a consideration. That is not one of the things on the table,” he said on Friday.

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Trump described his first-ever historic meeting with Kim as “really fantastic” and said they had agreed to sign an unspecified document after their “very positive” summit, aimed at normalising ties and complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Trump said he has a great relationship with the North Korean leader. “We have had such a great relationship. China has helped us a lot with North Korea and with Kim Jong-un since I got to office. “If I were not elected president, you would’ve been in a war with North Korea. We now have a situation where the relationships are good, where there’s been no nuclear testing, no missiles, no rockets,” Trump said.

“We got our hostages back. We have many of the remains back and coming back rapidly. The remains of our great warriors from many, many years ago and the families are so thrilled and so happy. We’ve had a great relationship,” the president said. The Singapore summit was a tremendous success, Trump said. “Only the fake news likes to portray it otherwise. We would’ve literally been in a war with North Korea, in my opinion, had I not been elected,” he said.

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The summit at Singapore’s Sentosa island – the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader – had marked a turnaround of relations between Trump, 72, and Kim, 36, after a long-running exchange of threats and insults. The US insists it will accept nothing less than complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

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