U.S. weighing troop reduction in South Korea, report says

U.S. weighing troop reduction in South Korea, report says

U.S. weighing troop reduction in South Korea, report says

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 US troops stationed in the country, USA officials said.

Jonathan Hoffman, Esper's chief spokesman, said the shift's intention is to "remove some of the footprint of having forces forward deployed". The city of Pyeongtaek, home to a big USA base, has asked the South Korean government to ensure that all US soldiers get tested before their arrival.

"I've issued no orders to withdraw forces from the Korean Peninsula", Esper responded to a question on potential US force restructure in South Korea at a think tank event.

The U.S. and South Korea have been military allies since the Korean War. Negotiations led on the US side by the State Department have been deadlocked for months.

While he also said that he would look at every geographic combat command to implement US national defense strategy. "Is the Pentagon and the president considering any reduction or withdrawal of USA forces?"

"We are going to proceed to take a look at changes in each command we've, in each theater, to verify we're optimizing our forces", Esper stated in Tuesday's webinar.

The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed US official, reported Friday that in March the US State Department had presented the White House with options to cut the number of American troops here as part of repositioning US forces globally.

The report came as President Donald Trump has made a decision to remove thousands of US troops from Germany, criticizing what he sees as the country's failure to pay its fair share of defense costs in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance.

Although the federal law enforcement officers who have been attacking George Floyd protesters in Portland, Oregon are not acting on behalf of the USA military, they have been wearing military-like camouflage.

The revelation comes as Trump has baffled his allies by deciding to eliminate 9,500 of the 34,500 US troops stationed permanently in Germany and as one of the president's most direct advisers has pointed out that more troop withdrawals could occur.

The first phase of the February U.S. -Taliban agreement - a downsizing of the American force in Afghanistan to 8,600 - has now been completed, eliminating the force expansion Trump authorized in 2017. But the required Taliban and Afghan government progress in implementing the political aspects of the agreement has slowed, and violence is on the rise.

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