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N. Korea renews call for withdrawal of U.S. forces from S. Korea

All Headlines 16:24 September 07, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Wednesday renewed its call for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from South Korea as the troops mark the 71st anniversary of their arrival on the peninsula.

"It is hard to find such absurd and unlawful brigandish act as the occupation of South Korea by the U.S. imperialist aggressors in any other parts of the world," the North's state-run news outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, painting the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK)'s presence in South Korea as imperialist occupation.

On Sept. 8, 1945, a U.S. infantry division arrived in South Korea in the wake of Japan's defeat in World War II. At the time, there were Japanese forces stationed on the Korean Peninsula who had to be disarmed.

Currently, some 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea with a mission to deter North Korean aggression, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

"The U.S. imperialists turned South Korea into their permanent colony and egged pro-U.S. stooges on to the acts for hostility, confrontation and aggression against the DPRK (North Korea) and mover for stifling it, deliberately standing in the way of achieving national reunification," the KCNA said, citing Pyongyang's Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea.

The report demanded the USFK leave, saying "The withdrawal of the U.S. forces from South Korea is a matter of urgent concern for the international community and countries around Korea aspiring after stability and development of the region."

North Korea has repeatedly claimed the USFK presence in South Korea is aimed at invading their country and its development of nuclear weapons is intended to fend off the U.S.' hostile policy.

"The U.S. should clearly understand that its justification or pretext for its aggression forces' presence in South Korea will no longer work," the KCNA report said. "The U.S. imperialist aggressors should make a proper option at the present crucial crossroads if they do not want to be a wandering spirit without even label in the second Korean war."

pbr@yna.co.kr
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