(L-R) Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz assemble for a photo-op prior to the fifth Republican presidential candidates' debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 15. Trump said a "maniac" in North Korea posed a problem for the United States. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
HILTON HEAD, S.C., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Donald Trump gave South Korea a tongue-lashing on Wednesday, accusing Asia's fourth-largest economy of giving "nothing" to the United States while "making a fortune."
Speaking on the campaign trail in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Trump repeated his position on U.S. allies South Korea and Japan. According to the Republican presidential frontrunner, both are countries that benefit from the security umbrella but without returning the favor.
"I order thousands of televisions, they're all from South Korea. So we have 28,000 people on the border separating South Korea from this maniac in North Korea. We get nothing ... We get nothing. They're making a fortune. It's an economic behemoth," Trump said.
Trump said Japan similarly is engaged in a skewed relationship with Washington, Yonhap reported.
"If somebody attacks Japan, we have to immediately go and start World War III, OK? If we get attacked, Japan doesn't have to help us. Somehow, that doesn't sound so fair. Does that sound good?" Trump said.
Seoul has long shared the cost of stationing U.S. forces and in 2014 Seoul and Washington agreed to renew the Special Measures Agreement, with Seoul paying $886 million in costs in 2014, up 5.8 percent from 2013.
North Korea was included in a list of "problem" countries in Trump's speech Wednesday.
"We've got a lot of problems," Trump said, adding, "By the way, the maniac in North Korea is a problem. He actually has nuclear weapons, right? That's a problem."
In September, Trump also called Kim Jong Un a maniac, and his rival Marco Rubio referred to Kim as a "lunatic" during a nationwide TV ad, South Korean television network SBS reported.
North Korea has made public statements about Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
Pyongyang had said in July South Korea continues to "suffer from humiliation and shame from the world," after Trump said South Korea's "doesn't pay us" for security.