SEOUL, Sept. 7 (UPI) — North Korea renewed its call for the “U.S. imperialist aggressors” to withdraw from South Korea on the 71st anniversary of the United States’ arrival on the peninsula.
The Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s state-run news outlet, on Wednesday said the presence of U.S. Forces Korea is an imperialist occupation — citing North Korea’s Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea.
“It is hard to find such absurd and unlawful brigandish act as the occupation of South Korea by the U.S. imperialist aggressors in any other parts of the world,” KCNA said. “The U.S. imperialists turned South Korea into their permanent colony and egged pro-U.S. stooges on to the acts for hostility, confrontation and aggression against the DPRK … deliberately standing in the way of achieving national reunification.”
There are about 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea to deter North Korean aggression following the 1950-1953 Korean War. U.S. forces first arrived in South Korea to disarm Japanese forces following Japan’s defeat in World War II in 1945.
North Korea’s call for U.S. Forces Korea to leave the peninsula follows U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s joint condemnation of recent North Korean missile tests. Obama and Park on Tuesday defended the decision to deploy a U.S. missile defense system on the Korean peninsula.
The July decision to deploy the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system continues to be met with opposition from China, because of THAAD radar’s monitoring capabilities. North Korea has said it needs missiles to protect itself from a possible U.S. invasion.
Following heightened tension amid missile tests and a disagreement over missile defense systems, North Korea has once again demanded U.S. Forces Korea leave.
“The withdrawal of the U.S. forces from South Korea is a matter of urgent concern for the international community and countries around Korea aspiring after stability and development of the region,” KCNA said. “The U.S. should clearly understand that its justification or pretext for its aggression forces’ presence in South Korea will no longer work.”
Elizabeth Shim contributed to this report.