WASHINGTON, May 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korean Foreign Minister (FM) Kang Kyung-wha said here on Friday that she and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not talk about the U.S. withdrawal of troops from South Korea, which U.S. President Donald Trump has hinted several times.
She made the remarks during a joint press conference following her talks with Pompeo, noting that "the U.S. military presence in Korea is a matter for the ROK-U.S. alliance first and foremost."
"We are confident of our security through the Korea-U.S. joint security stance, which is why we say the issue of the alliance, any issue of the alliance, including the troop('s) presence in our country, is a matter for our two allies to discuss and not to be put on the table with North Korea," she explained.
Trump hinted in March that Washington was mulling to withdraw its 32,000 soldiers deployed on the inter-Korean border. He also complained about the U.S. obligation to protect South Korea even the country enjoys a huge trade surplus against the United States.
U.S. defense chief James Mattis said in April that the United States will discuss with its allies and the DPRK about the remaining U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula.
However, Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton ruled out the possibility on May 4th, saying the United States has no plans to change its defense posture in South Korea.