The Korea Herald

ssg
지나쌤

S. Korea-US alliance will 'incessantly' strengthen regardless of who wins US election: Seoul envoy

By Yonhap

Published : May 15, 2024 - 09:28

    • Link copied

South Korean Ambassador to the United States Cho Hyun-dong speaks during a press meeting at the foreign ministry in Seoul on April 25, 2024. (Yonhap) South Korean Ambassador to the United States Cho Hyun-dong speaks during a press meeting at the foreign ministry in Seoul on April 25, 2024. (Yonhap)

South Korea's top envoy to the United States expressed confidence Tuesday that the alliance between Seoul and Washington will strengthen "incessantly" through the allies' "institutionalized" cooperation irrespective of who wins the White House in November.

Ambassador Cho Hyun-dong made the remarks as US President Joe Biden is set to face former President Donald Trump in the Nov. 5 election amid speculation that Trump's return to the top office could potentially bring a foreign policy shift.

"Regardless of the election outcome. the South Korea-US alliance will continue to strengthen incessantly along the line of institutionalized cooperation," Cho said during a meeting with South Korean correspondents.

He was apparently referring to cooperation frameworks between Seoul and Washington that have been deeply entrenched to ensure close-knit coordination on security and other issues.

Cho underscored that the South Korea government and his embassy are making sufficient preparations for "any situation," while noting the broadening scope of the bilateral alliance.

"The South Korea-US alliance has already evolved into one that contributes to the global community beyond the confines of the Korean Peninsula," he said. "All staff of the embassy will make efforts to contribute to the alliance and its future-oriented development."

Meanwhile, the South Korean Embassy in Washington is said to be making efforts to communicate with those close to Trump amid speculation that the former president could consider a drawdown of the 28,500-strong US Forces Korea or demand a hefty increase in Seoul's USFK contributions.

Last month, Time magazine reported in an interview article that Trump had suggested the US could withdraw USFK if the Asian ally does not make more financial contributions to support the troops. (Yonhap)