Worried South Koreans grapple with Trump victory
SEOUL, South Korea — President Park Geun-hye’s office convened the National Security Council on Wednesday to discuss the impact of the U.S. election amid concerns that Donald Trump’s campaign threats to change trade and military agreements will become reality.
South Korea has closely watched the campaign because the stakes are high with North Korea aggressively pursuing its nuclear and missile programs.
While a victory by Hillary Clinton likely would have meant status quo for the Washington-Seoul alliance, Trump has said South Korea should be paying more for its own defense and said he might withdraw American troops stationed on the divided peninsula. He even has suggested allowing South Korea and Japan to develop their own nuclear weapons to reduce the U.S. defense burden.
Trump also denounced the free trade agreement between the two countries, calling it a “job killing” deal that might need to be renegotiated.
The president-elect tried to reassure U.S. allies in his victory speech, saying “I want to tell the world that, while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone.”
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