South Korean President Moon Jae-in dismissed the possibility of withdrawal of US troops stationed in the country in case of signing a peace treaty with North Korea, which will formally end 1950-1953 Korean War, presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.
“US Forces Korea (USFK) is a matter of the South Korea-US alliance. It has nothing to do with signing a peace treaty,” the spokesman said as quoted by the Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.
According to the media outlet, Moon’s remarks followed a proposal of his special adviser Moon Chung-in on the USFK withdrawal. This issue has appeared on the agenda following the recent historic meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas in the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
At the end of April, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South Korean president held a summit in the “truce village” of Panmunjom, during which the sides signed the Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula. The document commits the two countries to a nuclear-free peninsula and talks to bring a formal end to the Korean War.
Since no peace treaty was signed after the Korean War of 1950-1953, South and North Korea remain legally at the state of war. The 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement provided for a suspension of open hostilities and a fixed demarcation line with a buffer zone. Washington has maintained its troops presence in South Korea since that time. There are about 28,500 US servicemen stationed in South Korea.