Donald Trump, the man “best described as an internet comment section come to life” according to The Verge, has asserted that South Korea should pay the US in order to have its military protection.
The US has controlled the South Korean military since the Korean war in the 1950s, according to the Lowy Interpreter. The agreement signed at the time gave the USA total control of the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula.
We have 28,000 soldiers right in the middle [between the warring nations of North and South Korea]. And we get nothing. We get peanuts.
Trump has made this sort of statement before. In October he criticized South Korea for failing to pay for US protection.
Trump refused to back down when challenged by Harvard student Joseph Choi, 20, who told the press,
“People tend to believe what influential people like Trump say even if they make wrong claims. I just wanted to make it known that (Trump’s claims) are wrong,”
The student spoke to Trump during a question and answer following a Donald Trump speech at a rally in New Hampshire. Choi challenged the ex-reality star:
“You said that South Korea takes advantage of the United States in terms of the defense spending on the Korean Peninsula. You said that they don’t pay anything … I just want to get the facts straight…South Korea paid $861 million.”
Trump brushed this off, saying the the money is “peanuts compared to what it’s costing us.”
Trump also suggested in his latest CNN interview that Asian giant China is lying about how much control it has over North Korea.
They say they don’t have that much control over North Korea. They have TOTAL control over North Korea, because without China they wouldn’t be able to eat. So China has to get involved. China should solve the problem, and we should put pressure on China to solve the problem.
— ghita hendea (@ghitahendea) January 8, 2016
Trump: US should put pressure on China to solve North Korea problem https://t.co/X6IyfJ34pO
— Ronald Stager (@graywolf6644) January 8, 2016
Asked if he would “pull out” the troops stationed between the Koreas in the event that he becomes president, Trump did not give a yes or no response, but stressed that he would “want South Korea to pay us a lot of money.” Trump spoke about a massive shipment of televisions made in South Korea which he has just ordered, and concluded that the economy must be doing ok.
South Korea is a money machine. They pay us peanuts!
Perhaps mindful of racism accusations that have plagued him in the past, Trump quickly went on to stress that he has “many friends from South Korea,” and they buy his apartments and do business with him.
[China] can handle it so easy. [When they claim they can’t] they are taunting us. They are playing games with us.
Trump reflected that the US could easily pressure China into handling the conflict by imposing trade restriction on the nation. China is dependent on the US in trade areas.
We have total control over China. We just don’t know how to use it.
Earlier this year North and South Korea were reported to be in a “quasi-state of war,” according to CBS. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his frontline troops to prepare for battle a day after the most serious confrontation between the rivals in years.
Will we ever know if North Korea detonated an H-Bomb? | https://t.co/V3bqU4pMCW
— myRepública (@RepublicaNepal) January 8, 2016
Those tensions have since eased, however North Korea is again in the news for claiming that it has tested a thermonuclear weapon. The Daily Mail reports that US spy planes have been deployed to the region to see if Pyongyang does indeed have nukes, as they claim.
This is the Air Force radiation sniffer plane deploying after North Korea’s nuclear test https://t.co/BTj1Cz9GZ8
— Business Insider UK (@BI_Europe) January 8, 2016
— dwnews (@dwnews) January 8, 2016
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)