The Death of an Alliance, Part 42

China’s newest satellite won’t back sanctions against North Korea, after the North lobbed seven missiles into the Sea of Japan. The United States is actively supporting a Japanese-drafted sanctions resolution at the U.N. China is opposing it. The lines have been drawn, sides have been chosen. Seoul really didn’t even need to take part in this “camp diplomacy,” but it has. It’s yet another reason to ask: why do we provide the defense for a nation that’s neutral at best, the servant of our enemies at worst?

The only explanation I can offer is a mix of inertia and hope that things will change in 2007. Yet no election will really alter the fundemental strategic realities, and no Korean political movement seems ready to alter the fundemental demographic ones, modest improvements notwithstanding.
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25 Comments

  1. I cant say that I’m surprised but to some degree I am. I guess getting trounced at the polls in May didnt show Pres. Roo that the Korean electorate isnt interested in the touchy-cuddly-feely approach to Pyongyang. Roo probably figures that its just better to drag down US-SK relations further just to make for difficult for a GNP administration to handle after 2007. Can you say “scorched earth”?




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  2. I think US government leaders are just waiting to see Roh go and hopefully in 2007 someone more compentent gets elected. However, if another Roh type gets elected I would definitely have to say the alliance is over. I can’t imagine the US government putting up with this crap for another 5 years.

    However a lot of things can happen between now and the election so who knows.




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  3. People need to understand that it was almost impossible for SK to support the sanctions because it could mean the end of the Sunshine Policy. Also, the sanctions were led by the hardliners in Japan, and endorsing the sanctions would mean endorsing the Japanese hardliners.




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  4. Mi-Hwa brings up a good point about SK not looking like it supports Japanese policiy towards NK. But for heavens sake, how many more missiles does KJI need to test before Pres. Roo realizes that the “sunshine policy” is a failure? The worst that could happen now is if NK tested another missile that violated Japanese airspace. At this point as far as I am concerened Roo can continue with is sunshine policy cause his approval rating (14%) cant get any lower than it already is and he just digging a deeper hole for Uri when it comes to the elections in December 2007.




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  5. People need to understand that it was almost impossible for SK to support the sanctions because it could mean the end of the Sunshine Policy.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing; it’s not. The policy didn’t work and never will. It should have been scrapped years ago.

    Also, the sanctions were led by the hardliners in Japan, and endorsing the sanctions would mean endorsing the Japanese hardliners.

    The U.S. and France are also behind the sanctions. It’s not like North Korea didn’t have any warning – Japan said if they launched the ICBM they’re be sanctions.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, which is a good thing in North Korea’s case.




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  6. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, which is a good thing in North Korea’s case.”

    Heh.




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  7. “The policy didn’t work and never will.”

    It’s easy for non-Koreans to say that. It’s a different story when you are one of the many North Koreans whose lives depend on the rice and fertilizer from South Korea, and who look forward to reunification as their only hope.




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  8. Hey Mi-Hwa, for all the money that KJI spent on making the TaePoDong 1&2, couldnt he use some of that money to feed his people rather than rely on SK to feed the people of North Korea. It is somewhat foolish of you to lay no if not some of the responsibility at the feet of Kim Jong Il.




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  9. If the sunshine policy were working, then KJI wouldn’t be test firing missiles, especially when the CHINESE told him not to do.




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  10. Death of an Alliance?

    Thanks as my head is now filled with The Smith song called “death of a disco dancer”. See the lyrics below… Kind a surreal:

    DEATH OF A DISCO DANCER Lyrics
    Artist: The Smiths
    Album: Strangeways, Here We Come (one of the best The Smiths album. Saw Morissey in Universal Amphitheater 1 1/2 ago – he sucked…)

    The death of a disco dancer
    Well, it happens a lot ’round here
    And if you think Peace
    Is a common goal
    That goes to show
    How little you know

    The death of a disco dancer
    Well, I’d rather not get involved
    I never talk to my neighbour
    I’d rather not get involved
    Oh …

    Love, peace and harmony ?
    Love, peace and harmony ?
    Oh, very nice
    Very nice
    Very nice
    Very nice
    Very nice
    …But maybe in the next world
    Maybe in the next world
    Maybe in the next world

    Love, peace and harmony ?
    Love, peace and harmony ?
    Oh, very nice
    Very nice
    Very nice
    Very nice
    …But maybe in the next world




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  11. To Lawrence: The missile tests are a setback for the Sunshine Policy, but it’s by no means the end of the policy. The Sunshine Policy has been planned out to run for decades, long after KJI has died.

    The reason why KJI defied everyone, including the Chinese, is because America will not give him security gurantees, and so he wants a nuclear deterrent against America. KJI’s nukes are useless for defense without a good missile system to deliver them. That’s why KJI is ordering his military to improve their missiles.

    Just last week, some leading Americans called for a pre-emptive strike against NK. This just confirms KJI’s suspicions about an American invasion. A few years ago, Rumsfeld even said that America can fight Iraq and NK at the same time. Also, America runs war games every year with SK. All of these military threats are some of the reasons why KJI is spending a lot of money on weapons, instead of feeding his people.




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  12. For the US, waiting it out til ’07 isn’t an option. How likely is the GNP to discount the threat of the NORKS? Might they be just as reticent to confront KJI as Roh? There is the Japan card that seems to unite a growing group of Koreans too, regardless of party. China has been deft in uniting Koreans against Japan.
    So what does the US do in the case that a 1980’s style Greek-Turkey relationship develops between the Koreas and Japan? Does the US think South Korea is so valuable that it will be neutral between them and Japan? I don’t think so. Sooner or later the US will have to choose. Is anyone surprised that China & Norks are trying to leverage the US off the mainland by breaking the South Korean-Japan leg of the US Pacific strategy?
    Anyway, things are bubbling over there, no telling how this will play out. For now the NORKS and China have the initative, we’ll see how Japan and the US tries to take it from them.




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  13. Mi-Hwa, I was wondering if you are Korean and if so, how do you the sunshine policy would play out under a GNP adminstration if they do win the presidential elections in 2007.




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  14. To Lawrence: I’m Korean-American, but I meet a lot of South Koreans who are either studying in the US or transferred here by their companies.

    If the GNP wins the 2007 election, they may limit the extent of the Sunshine Policy in terms of the budget, but they will continue with the major investments such as the planned railway to NK, Kaesong, the tourism, and family reunions. The GNP may also do more for the NK defectors. Whoever wins the election, the SK government has to deal a lot with the North Koreans and the Chinese.

    To Duke: A big reason why Roh won the election was because a top official in the Bush Admin. suggested in public that America should force regime change in NK. Also, Bush labeled NK as part of the axis of evil. Many South Koreans became nervous and angry about that, and supported the URI party.




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  15. One of the comments on this otherwise excellent thread is now in moderation. It’s possible for us to disagree with each other without name-calling. Please try again.




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  16. “MOST PEOPLE IN ROK WANT THIS TOO!”

    Most people want KJI gone, but no South Korean wants another Korean War or for North Korea to be invaded like Iraq. That’s why many South Koreans voted for URI in 2002.




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  17. S.Koreans are scared of reunification because they fear it will slow down their economy the same way reunification did to W.Germany. Why else would South Korea continue try save a regime that cant and from recent events doesnt want to be saved.




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  18. Come on Duke, you and I can disagree with Mi-Hwa without the name calling. KJI recent actions prove how weak his or her arguments are.




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  19. Im still waiting for Mi-Hwa to explain why Roo’s approval numbers are in the toilet if the sunshine policy was working so well.




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  20. I have placed two more “flame” comments in moderation. I don’t agree with Mi-Hwa’s views, but she states them without rudeness and epithets, and it takes guts for her to debate them here. Her views are roughly representative of South Korea’s ruling party voters, which means that they provide insight, whether you agree or not.




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  21. “Her views are roughly representative of South Korea’s ruling party voters, which means that they provide insight, whether you agree or not. ”

    And the latest poll gives 12% approval to NO and 10% approval to PIG Uri party.

    It’s biased commie brain washed points like from Miwa that brings out the hate in me and for most readers of TKL.




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  22. Duke, I understand where you are coming from. However when you see the opinions of someone like Mi-Hwa, just take comfort in the fact that it is that type of thinking that made the Uri get its ass handed to them in June.




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  23. I don’t agree that South Koreans voted for Noh MooHyun because of the Axis of Evil speech.

    Noh is now president because two girls were accidently run over by an American bridge-carrier. That’s all. Had it not happened, Lee HoiChang would be president now.




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