White House chief of staff John Kelly persuaded U.S. President Donald Trump not to order the withdrawal of all American troops from the Korean Peninsula ahead of the February Winter Olympics in South Korea, a report said Monday, just weeks ahead of a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The report by NBC News, citing two unidentified administration officials, said that "in one heated exchange between the two men ... Kelly strongly — and successfully — dissuaded Trump from ordering the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula."

The U.S. stations 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Any decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the South would have wide-ranging effects, including on Japan's security calculus, according to experts.