Report on U.S. Troop Cuts `Not True,' Seoul Says: Korea Update

(Bloomberg) -- As the planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un draws near, each side is laying the groundwork for discussions. We follow the developments here. Time stamps are Seoul:

South Korea Says U.S. Denies Troop Cut Report (11:01 a.m.)

The U.S. has denied a New York Times report that Trump ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for drawing down American troops, Seoul’s presidential office said via text message. It said a "key" official at the U.S. National Security Council told Chung Eui-yong, South Korean national security chief, that the report was “not true.”

The Times report earlier Friday cited unidentified officials who said that reduced troop levels weren’t intended to be a bargaining chip in Trump’s talks with Kim. The U.S. has about 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea.

South Korean Presidential Aid Visits U.S. (8.51 a.m.)

Chung is currently in the United States for discussions on the summit between Trump and Kim, Seoul’s presidential office said Friday.

Kim Said to Allow IAEA Nuclear Inspections (7:49 a.m.)

North Korea has agreed in principle to accept International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of its nuclear facilities with the U.S. to achieve “complete” denuclearization by 2020, South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo newspaper reported, citing unidentified intelligence sources. North Korea and the U.S. were discussing measures to strengthen verification, it said.

Trump-Putin Meeting Not Seen Before Kim Summit (4:01 a.m.)

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was “very much open” to sitting down with Russian President Vladimir Putin, though there are no known plans for meeting ahead of Trump’s summit with Kim.

Release of Americans Would Be ‘Goodwill’ Sign (3:52 a.m.)

The White House can’t confirm the validity of reports about the release of three Americans detained in North Korea, Sanders said. If North Korea were to release them, the Trump administration would view it as a sign of “goodwill,” she said.

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