October 30, 2019 13:04
Washington is pushing Seoul to redefine Korean troops' duties to its big ally so they include joining any American wars overseas.
The request is immediately aimed at getting Korean troops to take part in U.S. military operations in the East China Sea or the Persian Gulf.
A military source said, "The U.S. and Korea recently began talks to revise an allied crisis-management memorandum. The U.S. proposed inserting the term 'in times of crisis' and expanding the meaning of the term."
That could bind Korean troops to supporting the U.S. military in any international conflicts even if they do not pose a direct threat to Korea.
U.S. President Donald Trump has long complained that Korea is not pulling its weight in the alliance, apparently unaware that the presence of U.S. troops here mainly serves American interests in its struggle for regional dominance.
A Defense Ministry spokesman on Tuesday tried to play down the U.S. request, saying it merely falls under the bilateral Mutual Defense Treaty, which construes any armed attack in the Pacific region as a threat to each country's peace and stability and requires concerted efforts to deal with.
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