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U.S. troops should stay in S. Korea for long time even after peace treaty signed: Ahn

All Headlines 11:00 June 04, 2018

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- Ahn Cheol-soo, a Seoul mayoral candidate, said Monday that the United States should maintain its troops in South Korea "for a considerable period of time" even if a peace treaty to end the Korean War is signed.

Ahn of the minor opposition Bareumirae Party added that North Korea's denuclearization should be made in a "complete, verifiable and irreversible" manner and the Seoul-Washington alliance should also be the firm basis for carrying forward negotiations with the North.

"It is possible for the armistice parties to agree on the declaration of the end of war, put down their guns and then reach a peace agreement through negotiations," Ahn said in a prepared English speech at a meeting with foreign journalists based in Seoul.

"But it is my opinion that the U.S. Forces in Korea should remain stationed for a considerable period of time even after a peace treaty is concluded," he said.

A planned summit between the U.S. and the North on June 12 in Singapore is raising the possibility of an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

Ahn, a former presidential candidate, is competing against Park Won-son, the current Seoul mayor and front-runner for the June 13 local elections.

Park, seeking his third term as the capital's mayor, is leading the race with nearly 47 percent, compared with 20 percent for Ahn and 13 percent for Kim Moon-soo of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, a recent poll showed.

Ahn said that if elected, he plans to open a competition among hackers from the two Koreas to reduce the threat of cyber attacks and give North Korean hackers job opportunities.

He also said that he will develop an inter-Korean economic cooperation model that could create jobs for Seoul citizens and prompt the Seoul government to provide humanitarian aid to North Korea on a regular basis.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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