Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Media Appearance: "South Korea’s liberal president isn’t anti-American" on the Washington Post

It was a two-fer day of media appearance from me. Here is my contribution to the Washington Post:
When reporter Barbara Demick spoke of “hundreds of thousands” of South Koreans attending anti-U.S. demonstrations in a recent interview, she was referring to the past. As liberal democracy gradually established itself, the center-left began displacing the radicals among the ranks of South Korea’s liberals. And as South Koreans belatedly learned the full horrors of North Korea’s massive famine in the late 1990s, which claimed more than 300,000 lives, virtually all lingering sympathy for the North Korean regime evaporated. The new generation of South Korean liberals harbor few illusions about the brutality of the North’s dictatorship, and see the United States as a crucial source of peace in the Korean Peninsula.

I find this to be an extremely important point to make. As the inter-Korean talks progress, there are developing whispers that somehow, South Korea and its president is the problem. It is an absurd notion, and most unhelpful when there is finally a chance for peace in sight.

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