Over at the Diplomat, Zachary Keck writes about some of the issues currently plaguing the Korea—US alliance.
To sum up, we’re talking about missiles, nuclear issues and Japan.
In other words, at a time when the region is undergoing sweeping changes, the U.S. is increasingly less confident that South Korea will continue to rely on Washington for its security indefinitely. Indeed, there are already a number of signs that Seoul is seeking greater autonomy. These come at a time when the U.S. will need South Korea more than ever in order to properly rebalance its forces in the region.
I’ve made my views on these issues well-known—I think the missile agreement needs to go, I’d like to see South Korea go nuclear and I’d love to see closer security cooperation between Korea and Japan.
Still, I’m afraid we may be viewing what is the high point of Korea—US relations. Sure, missiles and nukes are important, but they’re not what really concerns me. What concerns me is that President Lee’s term is almost over, and if the opposition wins the next presidential election, it could very well mean a return to all the bullshit that plagued Korea—US relations under Roh Moo-hyun. In case anyone has forgotten what that entailed, it included differing views over North Korea, China, Japan and the very meaning of the Korea—US alliance. When that happens, disagreements over missiles and nuclear reprocessing will seem like a welcome respite.
(HT to Infidelworld)