Shock, outrage over Trump's comments

SEOUL - Confused, shocked, bewildered. Just a few of the words used in recent days to describe Japan and South Korea's reaction to some of Donald Trump's latest comments about the region.

The front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination stunned two of America's strongest allies with the suggestion that the U.S. military would be withdrawn from their shores, with nuclear weapons replacing them.

There are currently 54,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan and 28,500 in South Korea.

"Japan is better if it protects itself against this maniac of North Korea," Trump told CNN's Anderson Cooper Tuesday. "We are better off frankly if South Korea is going to start protecting itself ... they have to protect themselves or they have to pay us."

So high was the level of concern, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe felt the need to respond publicly, saying, "whoever will become the next president of the United States, the Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy."

Japan remains the only country to have had nuclear weapons used against it and has had a non-nuclear policy and pacifist constitution since the end of World War II.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida added, "It is impossible that Japan will arm itself with nuclear weapons."

North Korea claims to have miniaturized nuclear warheads

South Korea has a small minority who think Trump may have a point and welcome the idea of nuclear weapons.

Academic Cheong Seong-Chang from the non-profit think-tank the Sejong Institute said, "If we have nuclear weapons, we'll be in a much better position to deal with North Korea."

But his feeling is not mainstream.

Comments (5)

Lets talk about our own African leaders , in particular our own demi god who is very good at pontificating about African virtues against the west when in fact is the worst president any sane nation would like to have. How can he preside over a nation for decades inflicting such unheard of misery without admitting he has totally failed and hence he must go ?

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 2 April 2016

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