Trump considering withdrawing up to 4,000 US troops from South Korea


However, it also criticized South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul's visit to the United States.

KCNA said Moon's office sent a letter on November 5 requesting Kim attend a two-day summit Moon hosts for Southeast Asian leaders on Monday and Tuesday.

The statement accused South Korea of harming relations by depending on the United States in resolving inter-Korean issues.

South Korean officials had previously downplayed the seriousness of the U.S. demands, saying there was no sign the U.S. was actually going to leave.

Nuclear negotiations with North Korea have faltered since the collapse of a February summit between Kim and Trump in Vietnam, where the USA side rejected the North's demand for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrendering of its nuclear capabilities.

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U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said on Wednesday he believed the United States should continue to station troops in South Korea, when asked if he would continue to advocate for the presence of U.S. military personnel in the country if he is confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State. There are about 28,500 USA troops now stationed in South Korea, which remains technically in a state of war with nuclear-armed neighbour North Korea following their 1950-1953 conflict.

North Korea has been demanding the lifting of sanctions hobbling its economy and its leader Kim Jong Un set the deadline for Washington to show more flexibility in April, raising concerns he could resume nuclear and long-range missile testing suspended since 2017. The two-day summit opens on Monday.

Stating there is a right time and place for everything, the agency said Seoul is greatly mistaken for thinking that it can easily resolve the cross-border situation by sending a piece of paper inviting Kim to the Busan event.

Moon's view remains unchanged that the leaders of the two Koreas need to meet as often as possible and make joint efforts to garner global "understanding and support" for inter-Korean cooperation and the establishment of peace on the peninsula, Ko said. Kim and Moon during their Pyongyang meeting visited Mount Paektu, a volcano North Koreans consider sacred, in a gesture of engagement.