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Trump takes 'none-of-my-business' attitude to ally's conflict with N. Korea

All Headlines 07:12 April 04, 2016

WASHINGTON, April 3 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has shown a none-of-my-business attitude to a potential conflict between one of the key U.S. allies and North Korea, once again displaying his ignorance of American foreign policy.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Wisconsin on Saturday ahead of the state's primary next week, Trump said that if a conflict between Japan and a nuclear-armed North Korea were to break out, "it would be a terrible thing, but if they do, they do," according to news reports.

He went on to say, "Good luck. Enjoy yourself, folks."

The U.S. is bound by treaties to fight alongside South Korea and Japan if the allies come under attack. About 28,500 and some 50,000 American troops are stationed in South Korea and Japan, respectively, to help defend the allies against North Korean and other threats.

Trump's remarks are in line with the unfounded point that he's been making all along the campaign trail that the U.S. has been providing protection for wealthy nations in exchange for almost nothing and should end such protection unless those countries agree to pay more.

"We can't be the policeman of the world," Trump said during the Saturday rally. "What do we get out of it? It's time that other people stopped looking at us as stupid, stupid people."

If elected president, Trump said he would "get these countries to pay but not only to pay all the money they owe us for many years."

On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama strongly criticized Trump for belittling the alliances with Japan and South Korea that he said were "one of the foundations, one of the cornerstones of our presence in the Asia-Pacific region."

"It has been an enormous boom to American commerce and American influence. And it has prevented the possibilities of a nuclear escalation in conflict between countries that in the past and throughout history have been engaged in hugely destructive conflicts and controversies," Obama said at a news conference wrapping up the Nuclear Security Summit.

"It is an investment that rests on the sacrifices that our men and women made back in World War II, when they were fighting throughout the Pacific. It is because of their sacrifices and the wisdom that American foreign policymakers showed after World War II that we've been able to avoid catastrophe in those regions," he said.

"We don't want somebody in the Oval Office who doesn't recognize how important that is."

jschang@yna.co.kr
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