Diplomatic Relationship between South Korea and the US: Pre-THAAD and Post-THAAD
Diplomatic Relationship between South Korea and the US: Pre-THAAD and Post-THAAD
  • Reporter Park Geun-woo
  • 승인 2016.09.28 22:21
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The decision to arrange THAAD in South Korea is also getting various voices from inside the US as well. The voices that agree with the decision say one thing in common: national security. The first reason is the reinforcement of defense against North Korea’s growing missile threat. The other is to improve allied defenses. After all, it is a fact that North Korea continues to launch asymmetrical life-threatening provocations and that their nuclear experiments are not faltering.
On the other hand, the US’s THAAD deployment is also claimed to be ‘the worst’ for South Korea. On Sputnik News, Theodore Postol, the ex-US Chief of Naval Operations Science Advisor, remarked that THAAD defense has ‘no useful defense capacity’ to protect South Korea. On the clashes between South Korea and China stemming from THAAD deployment, he added that “THAAD radar was designed from its beginning to provide cuing information to the US national missile defense” and that “it puts South Korea at odds with China over a defense decision that has no merit.”
 THAAD is plainly a source of national controversy, but there is something else we must keep in mind. THAAD’s priority lies in the defense against North Korea, and to maintain amicable relationship with the US. Dealing with this issue, the politics before and after the presidential elections and the alliance of South Korea and the US must be considered with care.
The one foremost reason why the US presidential election in the midst of all the controversies originated from North Korea and the THAAD issues is in the pace of the development of situations in regions around South Korea. Right now, the situations in Northeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula are crucial, and they are developing by the minute. Therefore, at this time, the new US government’s foreign policies may be extremely important to South Korea.
Now that the US presidential election has turned into Hillary Clinton (Democrat) against Donald Trump (Republican), the prospects in their foreign policies will be the key to understanding upcoming foreign policies of the US after the election.
Firstly, Hillary Clinton looks toward reinforcing the alliances while implying protectionism. On the overall foreign policies, since Clinton herself took part in designing the current Rebalancing Policy as the Secretary of State, the prospects are that the future policies will be continuous to the current ones. She is also reaching out for solving North Korea-related issues with conversation, and will be looking forward to South Korea for more contributions on the national security issues.
The case for Donald Trump can be seen as isolationism. He looks forward to decrease the US interventions in the international issues under the “America First” standard. Also, it will become more difficult to make outlooks on the future foreign policies, as it will be largely based upon Trump’s arbitrary decisions. For both South Korea and Japan, a second “Nixon Shock” is expected as well. As the US stops working as the current international stabilizer, both countries will face unprecedented burdens facing off North Korea and the rising China.

image source: google.com