U.S. Officials Ratchet Up Warnings Against Pulling Out of Asia

  • By Yoon Jeong-ho

    July 01, 2016 09:29

    A senior U.S. State Department official on Wednesday reiterated warnings from the Obama administration that Seoul and Tokyo would develop their own nuclear weapons if the U.S. pulls out of the region.

    Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken was speaking about the importance of U.S. alliances and security commitments overseas at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Wednesday.

    "Without our security guarantees, advanced nations like Japan and South Korea would seek to develop their own nuclear arsenals, plunging the world into regional nuclear arms races, something the administrations of both parties have worked so hard to prevent for decades," Blinken said.

    The warnings come as Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is turning toward a new isolationism and protesting against the "waste" of keeping troops in Korea and elsewhere.

    Trump has claimed without much corroboration that Seoul enjoys a "free security ride."

    But Blinken was keen to point out that Korea and Japan pay their share. "In the Asia Pacific, in the last three years, we have updated the guidelines for our defense cooperation with Japan to expand its contributions to international security [and] concluded new host nation support agreements with both Japan and [South Korea] to help support our military presence," he said.

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