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South Korea says Trump pledged commitment to its defence

By Reuters - Nov 10,2016 - Last updated at Nov 10,2016

SEOUL — US President-elect Donald Trump pledged his commitment to defending South Korea under an existing security alliance during a phone call with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Thursday, her office said.

Trump had said during the election campaign he would be willing to withdraw US military stationed in South Korea unless Seoul paid a greater share of the cost of the deployment. There are about 28,500 US troops based in South Korea in combined defence against North Korea.

Park said the alliance between the two countries had grown as they faced various challenges over the past six decades, adding she hoped the ties would develop further.

She asked Trump to join in the effort to help minimise the threat from the North, which has carried out a series of nuclear and missile tests in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions.

Trump agreed with Park and said: "We will be steadfast and strong with respect to working with you to protect against the instability in North Korea," the presidential Blue House said.

The official newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party said on Thursday the US wish for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme "is only a fantasy of a bygone era" and the policy of pressure and sanctions had failed.

 

"The only accomplishment of the Obama administration is that it is leaving behind for the new administration coming next year the burden of having to deal with a strong nuclear power," Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary.

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