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Gingrich Says No U.S. Troop Withdrawal from South Korea Under Trump’s Watch

Daniel Kim Views  

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is answering questions at a Washington Times Foundation discussion on the 4th (local time). / Captured from the Washington Times Foundation video

Newt Gingrich, a former Republican House Speaker, predicted that Donald Trump would demand more defense costs from South Korea if re-elected. However, he emphasized that Trump will not signal any approval for an attack on South Korea by Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea.

During the Washington Times Foundation discussion on the 4th, Gingrich responded to the suggestion that South Korea has particular concerns about the possibility of Trump withdrawing U.S. troops: “I think he understands that South Korea is a key linchpin, as is Japan, to preserving American interests in the region.”

Gingrich further commented that he believes Trump fully understands that signaling any tolerance for an attack on South Korea by Kim Jong Un would be disastrous.

As a senior member of the Republican party, Gingrich is considered close to Donald Trump.

“But I don’t think he has any interest in leaving South Korea undefended. I think he understands that South Korea is a key linchpin, as is Japan, to preserving American interests in the region,” he added.

In response to arguments that the U.S. should move some of its forces in South Korea to other areas to focus more on the threat from China, Gingrich said, “Where would they move to? If the focus is on East Asian stability, they (U.S. forces in South Korea) are probably stationed in the best place. They won’t be stationed in Taiwan.” This implies that South Korea is the optimal location for U.S. troops.

However, he argued that the specific number of U.S. troops in South Korea, currently 28,500, is not as significant as ensuring that Kim Jong Un realizes that an attack on South Korea is an attack on the U.S.

Gingrich added that if Trump respects Kim Jong Un as a strong leader, “Then Trump would want stronger support from South Korea and Japan to blockade and restrain North Korea.”

Gingrich speculated that North Korea cannot give up nuclear weapons because it has already invested too much in nuclear weapon development. Furthermore, if Kim Jong Un were to pursue denuclearization, he could face internal opposition, potentially putting his life in danger.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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