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News Link • Korea/North Korea

North Korea No Longer Demands US Troops Be Removed From South Korea

• by Jason Ditz

In another groundbreaking step toward peace deals on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea's Kim Jong-un is no longer demanding that the US withdraw all troops from South Korea as a condition for a denuclearization plan.

Denuclearization is a top priority for the US. North Korea has long expressed a willingness to make such a deal, so long as they don't have to worry about a US attack. This was generally assumed to involve removing the 30,000 US troops along the South Korean side of the border.

North Korea now is said to be seeking a "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula. This would mean both ridding themselves of their arsenal and South Korea ensuring no US nukes are being staged from their territory.

This is a substantial change in North Korea's deterrent calculation. The likely reason for this is ongoing progress toward a peace deal, formally ending the 1950 Korean War. If such a deal is reached, it greatly reduces the risk of a US attack out of South Korea, as South Korea would doubtless object to being a staging area immediately after pushing for peace.

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