SEOUL, March 14 (Bernama) -- North Korea on Wednesday slammed the ongoing negotiations between South Korea and the United States to renew their deal on defense cost sharing, claiming that South Koreans want the withdrawal of US forces from the peninsula, reported Yonhap news agency.
The North's claim comes ahead of a planned summit between US President Donald Trump and its leader Kim Jong-un that would be held by May. It fuels speculation that the North may seek to strengthen its bargaining power ahead of the talks, experts say.
The North has long insisted that the some 28,500 American forces stationed in South Korea should be pulled out for peace. Analysts said that Pyongyang might seek inter-Korean unification by force if US troops are withdrawn.
The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North's ruling party, condemned Seoul and Washington's latest talks on defense cost sharing, claiming South Koreans are the ones who hope for the troops' withdrawal.
"What South Koreans want is an unconditional withdrawal of US troops from the South, an unwelcome guest that poses a threat to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula," the newspaper said.....