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U.S. High Official Considers ROK-US Alliance As A Multilateral One

U.S. High Official Considers ROK-US Alliance As A Multilateral One

Posted June. 06, 2004 22:12,   


A U.S. high official said on June 4 that the U.S. would not review the revision of the ROK-US alliance while developing it as a northeast multilateral alliance including Japan.

He explained, saying, “The strategy for Asia of the U.S. administration is to strengthen alliance relations, and the U.S. want to be a continuous member of Asia. For this, it is necessary to have strong alliances with the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Australia.” His explanation of the ROK-U.S. alliance and ROK-U.S. bilateral relations took place at a press conference with Korean correspondents.

He also added “We want South Korea and other allied countries to be a team when dealing with security challenges in the northeast Asian region. President George W. Bush emphasized multilateral talks in which South Korea and other allies participate when coping with the North Korean nuclear issue.”

He also praised South Korea, saying, “South Korea has made important contributions to the world community by participating in Cyprus, East Timor, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars,” and emphasized, “The ROK-U.S. alliance is to defend South Korea, but Korea’s role was worldwide based on common value, keen interest in democracy, and stability.”

He also said, “We have to see the ROK-U.S. alliance through a broader window. Because we regard the North Korean nuclear issue as a multilateral issue, not an issue between North Korea and the U.S., we have to consider defense on the Korean peninsula as a whole issue of the northeast, including Japan.”

He also responded to the question about the possibility that U.S. troops in South Korea will be used for other purposes besides deterrence against North Korea, “If North Korea’s threat disappears and a terror threat in northeast Asia appears, the U.S. troops in South Korea may be used for the duty in other northeast Asian regions.”

He also added, “I think that the ROK-U.S. alliance is not fixed, but it should be advanced towards being more future-oriented.”

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com