Friday, March 1, 2019

Media Appearance: "The U.S. Can Afford a Peace Deal in Korea" on Foreign Policy

A few days late, but here is the scene-setter that I wrote for the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi. At the time of writing this, there was a widespread expectation that US and North Korea would declare the end of the Korean War. In this piece, I tried to respond to the naysayers:
But more notable in this argument is the perverse logic that the United States must not end the Korean War because it may cause the president of the United States to withdraw the U.S. military from South Korea. As discussed earlier, nothing stops the United States from formally ending the Korean War and maintaining forces there, as long as South Korea is willing to host the U.S. troops—and it is. But this twisted logic in fact points to the more fundamental issue. It is not the end-of-war declaration that undermines the U.S.-South Korea alliance; the damage is coming from the United States and its leader. Instead of demanding the two Koreas continue to be locked in a forever war, perhaps American foreign-policy analysts should spend more energy thinking about how to direct their own government toward achieving peace in the Korean Peninsula while remaining faithful to its ally.

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