June 17, 2021

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Why U.S. troops must stay in South Korea

A recent call for an end to the American presence in South Korea misses the point

In terms of national power and global status, the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) has completely outpaced the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea).

The current gap between the two Koreas is quite stark; with South Korea’s economy being about 40 times bigger than that of North Korea. At the same time, the ROK has twice the population of the DPRK. Both China and Russia—Pyongyang’s traditional supporters, if not allies—enjoy far better economic relations with the South than with the North, and thus they will not come to the latter’s defense if another war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula.