Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Media Appearance: "South Korea is an Ally, not a Puppet" on Foreign Policy

My latest on Foreign Policy argues for taking our allies more seriously:
[U]ltimately, the claim from some corners in the United States that Moon is an aspiring authoritarian stems from the U.S. foreign-policy establishment’s outdated framework of viewing South Korean domestic politics. For far too many U.S. analysts, the image of South Korea is stuck in the 1970s during the height of the Cold War. In this rendition, South Korea has no meaningful democracy, only an alternation between an anti-communist dictator who must be protected as “our bastard” and a left-wing authoritarian who is ready to sell out the country to the communists in the North. . . .

The U.S. foreign-policy framework is not only false but also insulting to the South Koreans who won democracy for themselves in 1987 and fought to keep it in 2017. For all the arm-waving from South Korea’s conservatives and their allies in the United States, the facts on the ground are simply that the Moon administration is a run-of-the-mill center-left one, pursuing some moderately leftist policies, such as raising the minimum wage, while generally maintaining a friendly stance to big businesses.
South Korea is an Ally, not a Puppet [Foreign Policy]

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