Would a statement like this have been uttered by a Korean diplomat ten years ago?
Responding to a question about giving greater “strategic flexibility” to the U.S. Forces Korea, Kim said, “Even though I am an ambassador to China, I would say that it is certain that Korea and the U.S. are allies, and as such the bilateral relationship is far stronger than other relationships, which allows us to agree on strategic flexibility. He said China has not so far mentioned the controversial move to allow the USFK to be deployed in trouble sports elsewhere. “In my opinion China may understand that the Korea-U.S. alliance is very special, having lasted for more than 50 years,” he added.
No Korean diplomat would have had to make a statement like that until recently. And then Ambassador Kim provided this harbinger of things to come . . . .
“It is going to take a long time for the Korea-China relationship to evolve similarly to the Korea-U.S. relationship politically.
Funny, I had no idea that the SOFA had a provision like this.