President Trump’s Wednesday fundraiser in Missouri is raising eyebrows in the news, as he suggested to donors that he is considering withdrawing US troops from South Korea if he can’t get a better trade deal out of their government.
Trump didn’t go into tremendous details about whether this meant a full withdrawal or a drawdown, and a lot of analysts were very dismissive of the report, suggesting it was an empty threat and just a negotiating tactic.
Trump, however, is known to take trade deficits seriously, and directly ties those to the cost of having 32,000 US troops in South Korea, saying “we lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military.” During his 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly expressed annoyance that the US was spending so much on its military to protect wealthy allies with big trade surpluses with the US. This clearly isn’t a new issue for him.
Recent rapprochements with North Korea may also suggest this is a serious effort. South Korea has been very keen to get on a better footing with the North, and President Trump has agreed to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. The Trump-Kim meeting would clearly benefit greatly if the US didn’t have 32,000 troops on North Korea’s border, as North Korea has often expressed concern that the US will attack them.
Trump went on to declare to donors “our allies care about themselves. They don’t care about us.” South Korea has so far declined comment on the matter, with the exception of the Trade Ministry, which offered a dismissive declaration that they can’t “make comments every time President Trump” does.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- ISIS Kills Over 60 Syrian Troops in 48 Hours of Attacks - April 20th, 2019
- US Intel Doubts North Korea Weapons Test Was Successful - April 19th, 2019
- Ecuador Judge Orders Detention of Former Foreign Minister Connected to Assange - April 19th, 2019
- US Reveals Support for Former CIA Asset Hafter in Libya - April 19th, 2019
- Pompeo Dismisses North Korea Demands, Says He Can't Be Removed From Talks - April 19th, 2019