Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said the U.S. could end up in a "massive war protecting somebody" if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un suddenly becomes "frisky."
Once again displaying deeply negative views of U.S. security commitments to allies, Trump also said in a campaign speech Wednesday that the U.S. would find itself in "essentially World War III" if Japan comes under attack, arguing that the Asian nation does not have to do anything if the U.S. gets attacked.
"The man that we know so well who's always threatening everybody in the region, North Korea, if he all of a sudden gets a little more frisky than just words, we end up in a massive war protecting somebody," Trump said, referring to the North's leader, Kim.
Trump has long argued that the U.S. should no longer be the "policeman of the world," claiming it makes no sense for the U.S. to pay to defend such wealthy allies as Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia in exchange for little.
He says allies should pay 100 percent of the cost of stationing American troops, or the U.S. should be prepared to end their protection. He even suggested allowing South Korea and Japan to develop their own nuclear weapons for self-defense so as to reduce U.S. security burdens.
Trump has stepped up the argument since clinching the nomination last week.
"We don't want to be the stupid people anymore," Trump said. "Before I ran, did anybody know that we were protecting and paying for a large portion of the protection of Japan, which sells us cars by the millions, and Germany and Saudi Arabia and South Korea?"
South Korea currently pays about half the costs, about US$900 million a year, to help finance the troop presence, and U.S. officials, including new U.S. Forces Korea Commander Vincent Brooks, said it would cost more to keep those troops stationed in the U.S. than it does in Korea.
Apparently referring to Brooks, Trump quoted "this general" as pointing out that Japan pays about 50 percent of the troop presence cost, and adding, "Why aren't they paying for 100 percent?" (Yonhap)