View Full Version : U.S. Threatens To Pull Troops Out Of South Korea

06-09-2005, 09:38 PM
US official visited South Korea, threatened to pull troops


Seoul, June 10 (AP): A US defence official paid a secret visit to Seoul this week and told his South Korean counterparts that Washington might withdraw its troops if the two sides continue to disagree on various bilateral issues, local media reported on Thursday.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry acknowledged the visit by US Deputy Undersecretary of Defence Richard Lawless, but refused to disclose what was discussed during his meetings on Monday and Tuesday.

Local newspapers reported that Lawless said Washington might have to withdraw its troops if Seoul keeps disagreeing on a range of issues, including Pentagon plans for its forces to be more flexible and potentially operate across the region.

The reports in the Hankyoreh and Munhwa dailies, along with various Internet media, cited South Korean defence officials and diplomats.

The Foreign Ministry dismissed the media reports as "not being in line with the trend of close cooperation between (South) Korea and the United States".

While not directly refuting the reported comments by Lawless, the ministry said in a statement that "the Korea-US alliance is not so weak that it could be swayed by comments from one or two officials".

The reports come on the eve of a Friday meeting in Washington between US President George W Bush and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun where the two leaders are aiming to patch up strains in their alliance over differences in dealing with North Korea.