SEOUL -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has decried U.S. President Donald Trump's treatment of ally South Korea in an article published by the Yonhap News Agency.
As president, "I'll stand with South Korea, strengthening our alliance to safeguard peace in East Asia and beyond, rather than extorting Seoul with reckless threats to remove our troops," the former vice president wrote in the piece dated Thursday.
The article aims to appeal to the roughly 2 million people of Korean descent living in the U.S. as election day approaches. Biden praised the contributions of Korean immigrants to society and highlighted plans to expand support for immigrant households as well as combat racism.
The criticism of "reckless threats" refers to contentious negotiations over Seoul's share of the cost of hosting U.S. troops. The Trump administration has demanded that South Korea boost its spending to five times its 2019 contribution. The cost-sharing agreement expired at the end of last year, and the two sides have yet to reach a new deal.
With negotiations still underway, media reports indicate that the Pentagon has drafted options for drawing down troops from the country.
Biden's Yonhap piece touched on other issues relevant to South Koreans, including his approach to dealing with North Korea. "I'll engage in principled diplomacy and keep pressing toward a denuclearized North Korea and a unified Korean Peninsula," he wrote.
He also blasted Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, writing that the president's "failed leadership has tanked our economy and shattered hope for many Korean Americans."