Go to contents

Bush likely to accent reduction of U.S. troops in Korea: CRS expert

Bush likely to accent reduction of U.S. troops in Korea: CRS expert

Posted January. 03, 2001 19:49,   


The incoming administration of George W. Bush may review the size of American military force deployed in the Asia-Pacific region, a U.S. expert said Wednesday.

The government of President-elect Bush is also expected to place a major priority on the question of reducing conventional troops in its future negotiations with North Korea, Dr. Larry Niksch of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the U.S. Congress said in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA).

In the interview on the possibility of changes in United States' Korea policy, he said that the new U.S. government would review its troop strength in the Asia-Pacific region and that this would affect the number of American troops stationed in South Korea.

Dr. Niksch also said that the Bush administration was not likely to avoid negotiations for the conclusion of a direct or indirect peace treaty between South and North Korea, but would undoubtedly call for the conclusion of an agreement in advance of a withdrawal.

He also said that there is a possibility that President Kim Dae-Jung would hold negotiations with North Korea on a peace treaty before he leaves office.

North Korea has long insisted on signing a peace agreement only with the U.S., but its attitude seems to have since its special envoy Jo Myong-Rok's recent visit to the U.S., he said.

Dr. Niksch also said that the Bush administration would emphasize reciprocity in its negotiations with North Korea, operating under the principle of "giving what it should give and receiving what it should receive."

However, he predicted that the Bush government would not scrap the Perry Report, a list of recommendations on Washington's North Korea policy that was prepared by former defense secretary William Perry.

The Perry Report calls for a "carrot and stick" approach to resolving the issue of North Korea¡¯s nuclear and missile programs.