WASHINGTON (Yonhap News) ― The United States made clear Friday that North Korea’s demand for the pullout of American troops on the Korean Peninsula is not negotiable.
“I think you know that we have said, for quite some time, that we are not prepared to accept preconditions for the resumption of talks,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at a press briefing. “And that precondition in particular would be unacceptable.”
Her comments came as the U.S. and North Korea are scheduled to hold high-level talks in Beijing next week to see if they can resume the six-party talks on the communist nation’s nuclear program. The other participants are South Korea, China, Russia and Japan.
The U.S. has around 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.
In a closely monitored New Year’s joint editorial of its mouthpiece newspapers, the North renewed a call for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, which it claims are a fundamental obstacle to peace on the peninsula.