South Korea’s presidential office says the United States military presence in the Asian country will continue and would be unrelated to any peace treaty with the North, after an adviser suggested otherwise in a newspaper column.
“US troops stationed in South Korea are an issue regarding the alliance between South Korea and the United States. It has nothing to do with signing peace treaties,” said a spokesman for the presidential Blue House, Kim Eui-kyeom, on Wednesday, citing President Moon Jae-in.
The statement emphasized that the nearly 28,500 American forces in South Korea should remain there even if a peace accord is signed with North Korea.
The statement came in response to inquiries by local media outlets regarding a column written by presidential adviser and academic Moon Chung-in. Published earlier in the week, it said the continued presence of the huge US military contingent in South Korea would be difficult to justify in case a peace treaty was signed with the North.