President-elect Donald Trump has assured South Korea of continued U.S. protection against North Korea once he takes office.
A statement issued on Thursday by the president’s office in Seoul said Trump made the declaration during a telephone conversation with South Korean President, Park Hye.
The United States will be steadfast and strong with respect to working with the ROK to protect against the instability in North Korea.
“We are with you all the way and we will not waver,” Trump said.
Hye stressed that North Korea’s nuclear programme was the biggest threat currently facing South Korea and the U.S.
Observers feared that the South Korean government might face lengthy negotiations with a Trump administration over how the costs of some 28,500 U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea are financed.
During his campaign, Trump had called for U.S. allies to pay a stronger share of such defence costs.
The Yonhap news agency recently reported that South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn would ask President-Elect Donald Trump to support South Korea’s efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
Hwang also expressed hopes for expanding its alliance with the United States under the Trump administration.
Hwang said South Korea expected “some changes in the policy directions of the new U.S. Administration.”
“I would like to congratulate Trump on his election, and hope this will be an opportunity for the development of the ties between South Korea and the United States,” he said.