Following the recent visit to South Korea by Vice-President, Spiro Agnew to discuss the proposed withdrawal of United States troops, U.
Following the recent visit to South Korea by Vice-President, Spiro Agnew to discuss the proposed withdrawal of United States troops, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Westmoreland has also been talking to South Korean leaders.
He arrived in Seoul on Tuesday (September 1), and next day had discussions with Prime Minister 11 Kwon Chung and Defence Minister Nae Hiuk Jung.
General Westmoreland also had talks on Wednesday with South Korean President Chung-hee Park, with whom a few days earlier Vice President Agnew was said to have reached 'a basic accord' on the U.S. troop cutback, and on future U.S. military aid to South Korea. President Park explained to General Westmoreland the security situation in Korea, mentioning alleged increased North Korean provocations against the south. He stressed the need to strengthen Korean armed forces before talking about U.S. troop reductions.
After Vice-President Agnew's visit, Korean Information Minister Bum-Shik Shin told a press conference that the Government had never given its consent on the U.S. plan to reduce its force by 20,000 men. He said there was no change in Seoul's basic position that a compensatory modernisation of the Korean armed forces must be firmly guaranteed before the reduction.
Mr Shin also said President Park and Mr Agnew did not discuss the question of completely withdrawing the U.S. force in the future.
Mr Agnew told reporters as he left Seoul that President Park had accepted the fact that all American troops, now totalling 64,000 men, would be pulled out as soon as the Korean modernisation programme was completed, possibly within five years.