The Council on Foreign Relations had a blog post yesterday titled “American Attitudes Toward Korean Security: Steady as She Goes.” It reports that:
Within Asia, the greatest level of American support for a forward U.S. military presence is for the U.S. troop presence in South Korea perceived by two-thirds of Americans as a strong partner of the United States, with 60 percent of respondents favoring a continued U.S. presence there.
The CFR found this “striking” considering the “apparent bipartisan fatigue with the results of diplomacy toward North Korea that permeates the Washington policy community.”
Bipartisan fatigue. I love the terms academics come up with. Though I suppose it sounds more scholarly than, “going nowhere fast.”
You can read analyst Scott Snyder’s full report, prepared for the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs, here.
As for Korean attitudes: A February, 2011 report for the Center of US-Korean Policy by Kyung Hee University’s Kyu-toi Moon, using numbers from a 201o survey by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, shows American public support for the ROK-US alliance is tepid compared to that of South Koreans.
Based on the survey analysis, 87 percent of South Korean respondents thought it was necessary to continue the ROK-U.S. alliance in order to deter North Korea’s potential military threat. Furthermore, 90 percent of the respondents who believed China would intervene in the event of a war on the peninsula supported the alliance, while 83 percent of those who did not believe that China would intervene also supported the alliance.
Perhaps most intriguing is Moon’s conjecture that the election of a progressive administration in South Korea come December could possibly stir the youth to another bout of anti-Americanism.
If a progressive administration similar to the Kim Dae Jung or Roh Moo Hyun administrations wins the next presidential election, the win will only be possible with votes from younger generations. Should we expect anti-American sentiment in South Korea to rise again under a new progressive administration?
And so goes the definition of “progressive” that my mama taught me to the scrap heap of parental wisdom.