The Pentagon has presented the White House with options to reduce the American military presence in South Korea as the two countries remain at odds over President Trump’s demand that Seoul greatly increase how much it pays for the U.S. troops stationed in the country, U.S. officials said.

The Pentagon’s Joint Staff has reviewed the structure of U.S. forces in South Korea as part of a broader re-examination of how to reposition and potentially reduce military deployments worldwide, a U.S. military official said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in watches the June 2018 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on a TV screen before the start of a weekly cabinet meeting in Seoul.


Associated Press

Trump administration officials declined to spell out contingency plans to shrink the American military presence in South Korea below the current level of 28,500 U.S. troops and said no decision to reduce the force has been made.

The disclosure comes as Trump has unnerved allies by deciding to remove 9,500 of the 34,500 U.S. troops permanently stationed in Germany and as one of the president’s most outspoken advisers has signaled that more troop withdrawals might occur.

An expanded version of this exclusive report appears at WSJ.com.

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