Monday, February 24, 2020

Media Appearance: How Escalating Tensions Between the US and Iran Affect South Korea on Responsible Statecraft

I was very excited to make my debut on Responsible Statecraft, the blog for the newly founded Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. In this article (whose rejected headline was: "What happens in the Middle East affects Far East"), I discussed how the tensions following the killing of general Qassem Soleimani affects US alliance with South Korea:
Should the U.S.-Iran tensions boil over to a war, the South Korean military would be joining yet another U.S.-led war in the Middle East — which is not an appealing prospect for Moon Jae-in administration. When South Korea sent troops to Iraq in 2003, the liberal administration led by then-president Roh Moo-hyun took a significant hit in support as over 70 percent of the South Korean public opposed joining the Iraq War. That memory must be particularly vivid for Moon, who began his political career as Roh’s senior presidential staff. A recent poll indicates that 48 percent of South Koreans opposed sending troops to the Strait of Hormuz, with 40 percent in favor. The gap between the two will likely widen if the U.S.-Iran conflict turns even more kinetic. 

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