Updated 4 May 2018 9:51 AM EDT
The White House and the Pentagon are contesting a published report that President Trump is seeking ways to reduce US troop presence in the Korean Peninsula.
The New York Times reported Friday that Trump instructed the Pentagon to prepare options for withdrawing US troops to South Korea just weeks beforefrom North Korea. Mr. Trump has expressed his frustration that South Korea is not contributing enough to fund US forces strengthening its defense. National Security Advisor John Bolton called the Times's story "utter nonsense."
"The president has not asked the Pentagon to provide opportunities to reduce US forces stationed in South Korea," Bolton said on Friday in a statement to reporters] Pentagon spokesman Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Logan gave a similar answer.
"The NYT story is wrong," said Logan CBS News's David Martin. "The President has not asked the Pentagon to offer ways to reduce the US forces stationed in South Korea, the Defense Ministry mission in South Korea remains the same, and our stances have not changed." The Department of Defense continues to endeavor to support the maximum pressure campaign. Developing and Maintaining Military Options for the President and Strengthening our Iron Safety Commitment to our Allies We all remain committed to the full, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. "
The White House has not said whether Mr. Trump is ready, US ̵
. Trump has said that he wants to meet North Korea in the coming weeks, even though the White House has not announced time or place for such a meeting. The president said the US had spoken "directly" with North Korea, and Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo had met with Kim on the Easter weekend.
Mr. Trump said he wanted "complete denuclearization," though it remains to be seen if Kim will accept that without US concessions.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged caution before any meeting with Kim.
"I have no problem bargaining with them, but be careful," she said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" earlier this week.
"It is OK to talk about a peace treaty on the Korean peninsula, in fact we have spoken about a peace treaty," she said. "That should be the ultimate goal, but go step by step, make sure everything is good, what the North Koreans are doing, and keep an eye on the price of denuclearization, because what we want to do is get them ahead of you Preserve the American homeland, "said Rice. "And finally, remember the nature of this regime, a regime that murdered an American citizen a year ago, that's a regime where the leader killed his half-brother in Malaysia … It's a brutal one Regime, a Secret Regime. "
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