GOP senators look to soothe South Korea amid Trump bluster

Source: Politico | June 1, 2016 | Eli Stokols

Three Republican senators are reassuring U.S. allies in Asia and looking to mitigate the damage they believe Donald Trump is doing to important trans-Pacific relationships, further evidence that when it comes to the GOP’s presumptive nominee and America’s most critical allies, politics no longer end, so to speak, at the water’s edge.

Just as pressure is mounting on Republican elected officials to fall in line behind Trump, Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Dan Sullivan of Alaska are in South Korea undercutting Trump’s bluster with assurances that the U.S. is not about to renege on trade agreements or demand its allies pay more to support American forces on Korean soil.

“Whether it is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, we have an absolute commitment and resolve to growing our alliance with Korea, and there is no going back,” Gardner told the South Korean news agency Yonhap News on Wednesday.


Trump’s threat to pull U.S. troops from South Korea if the country doesn’t pay more has raised alarms in Seoul, as has the businessman’s apparent willingness to speak directly with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in an effort to halt the country’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Trump’s talk has already drawn praise from North Korea, where a state-operated propaganda site editorialized Wednesday that Trump is a “far-sighted” and “wise” presidential candidate who could be good for the North.

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