The issue of US troop presence in South Korea will not be “on the table” during a summit this month between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Defense Secretary James Mattis said.
“That issue is not on the table here in Singapore on the 12th (of June), nor should it be,” Mattis said Saturday at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a security summit in Singapore, referring to the scheduled date of the historic summit.
North Korea has long demanded US troops be removed from the Korean Peninsula as part of a nuclear deal, but the US has been at pains to stress the issue is not a bargaining chip.
The US has about 28,500 service members stationed in the South.
Appearing before a group of senator earlier in May, Mattis was asked about the…