The U.S. troops stationed in South Korea will remain in the country even if a deal is reached to formally end the 1950 to 1953 Korean War. That's the South Korean government's official stance.
"Let me quote President Moon: 'The issue of U.S. troops stationed in South Korea is a matter of South Korea, U.S. alliance. It has nothing to do with signing any peace treaties.' "
The presidential Blue House was responding to questions about an op-ed piece written by the South Korean president's special adviser and academic Moon Chung-in.
In an article published in the Monday edition of the U.S. magazine Foreign Affairs, the former Yonsei
University professor argued that it would be difficult to justify the presence of the U.S. forces in South Korea if a peace treaty was signed to put an end to the Korean conflict as agreed at the historic inter-Korean summit last week.
Washington stations 28,5-hundred troops in South Korea as a legacy of the conflict, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
While North Korea has been vocally opposed to the U.S. troops in the past there was no explicit mention of them in the Panmunjom Declaration reached at the end of the summit between President Moon and Chairman Kim on April 27th.
The Blue House Spokesperson added that Special Advisor Moon Chung-in has received a special phone call from the top office and was asked not to create any confusion about the president's stance on this matter.
"The South Korean president's swift disaster control and clarifying his stance is seen as his efforts to rid any roadblocks or possible conflict between South Korea and the U.S. especially ahead of the highly-anticipated North Korea, U.S. summit in this excruciatingly delicate dance toward Korean peace that may have just begun.
As part of that effort, President Moon will hold a rare meeting with the chiefs of the nation's five constitutional institutions on Thursday to personally explain the outcome of last week's inter-Korean summit.
Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, the Blue House."