On March 28, 2016 during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Republican front-runner Donald Trump suggested that Japan and South Korea should be allowed to develop their own nuclear weapons to counteract threats in the Asia-Pacific and take more responsibility for their own security since, according to Trump, they do not pay the United States enough for supplying that security.
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- "Careless Donald Trump is a danger to Australia and Asia." Peter Hartcher. The Sydney Morning Herald. March 29, 2016.
"'[I]t's unsettling for the Asia-Pacific, the Indo-Pacific, and the wider world for one of the leading US candidates to speak so blithely, so erratically, so carelessly about ripping up some of the deepest security foundations of the modern world."
- "Opinion: Japan and the rest of the world ignore Donald Trump at their own peril." Yuriko Koike. Market Watch. April 27, 2016
"Trump's inflammatory rhetoric has helped to take these fears to the next level, with some opponents of [Prime Minister] Abe's defense reforms, detecting, they believe the germ of some secret conspiracy with the US to turn Japan into a nuclear-weapon state [...] But given the need to reassure the Japanese public that Abe's reforms are truly what he says they are- that is, modest changes that will allow Japan to deepen its alliance ties - Trump's intervention is the height of irresponsibility."
- "Japan Inc. believes Trump presidency would hurt ties, tarnish U.S. as investment target: poll." Tetsushi Kajimoto. Reuters. April 21, 2016
Reuters Corporate Survey in early April finds majority of Japanese businesses concerned about Japan's security under a potential Trump administration.
- "U.S. can't afford to leave Asia." Jung-yeop Woo. The Japan Times. April 12, 2016
"Abandonment of U.S. leadership in Asia cannot make America great again; instead it is only likely to weaken U.S. leadership [... and] damage the main instruments that have provided the U.S. with its strategic advantage."
- "Trump's remarks about Asia cause bewilderment, unease in Japan." Asahi Shimbun. March 30, 2016
"Trump has questioned the validity of the current Japan-U.S. alliance. We may already need to start debate on whether we should keep staying away from nuclear weapons or have them as a deterrent." - Ichiro Matsui, Governor of Osaka, Japan
- "North Korean official calls Trump comments 'absurd.'"CNN. April 17, 2016
Deputy-Director General of North Korea's Institute of International Studies calls Donald Trump's remarks regarding the arming of Japan and South Korea with nuclear weapons "illogical" and a "double standard."
- "Careless Talk Could Harm the S. Korea-U.S. Alliance." The Chosun Ilbo. April 22, 2016
"But the fact that the subject of South Korea's possible nuclear armament was discussed in the U.S. Congress is not to be taken lightly. It could suggest that skepticism is spreading in the U.S. over its nuclear umbrella policy rather than that Washington wants Seoul to strengthen its defenses."
- "Incoming USFK commander's grasp of Korea's security." The Dong-a Ilbo. April 21, 2016
Korean newspaper editorial praises incoming US Forces of Korea (USFK) commander General Vincent Brooks for his knowledge of realities on the ground and condemning Donald Trump's comments on the US-Korea alliance.
- "S. Korea in debate about developing own nuclear weapons: CRS report." The Korea Times. April 6, 2016
US Congressional Research Service (CRS) says South Korea is debating internally about developing its own nuclear weapons in light of North Korean threat and skepticism about US security commitments.
- "Dangerous remarks from Trump." Korea Joongang Daily. March 28, 2016
"We are dumbfounded at such myopic views of a leading candidate in the U.S. presidential race who tries to approach such critical issues only from the perspective of expenses. Such attitudes can aggravate the distrust and discontent of the world about Uncle Sam."
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