[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]U.S.-Korea ties seem shakyAs an American expatriate living in Korea, keeping abreast of Korea’s international relations with the United States and its allies is not a luxury I can do without.
Of particular interest to me are the present Korean administration’s remarks regarding the nature of Korea’s alliance with the United States and Japan.
It is worth noting that both of these countries are democracies that offer their citizens great freedoms in contrast to North Korea and China which are anything but democratic.
One gets the impression that the present ruling government is distancing itself from both the United States and Japan in order not to alienate or offend the major powers on the continent.
It also appears as if the present government thinks it can sit on the fence between the great powers and be the neutral Switzerland of Asia. Unfortunately for Korea, there are no Switzerlands in this part of the world.
The present administration from the outset has shown an unfavorable outlook towards its allies of the last 50 years. Now, it would appear that in an effort to loosen the relational bonds that have joined these nations, the administration is bringing into question whether any alliance can continue to exist between Korea and the United States in the long-term.
If the United States is required to help Korea in the event of military invasion but Korea is not obligated to help the United States in the event of conflict with a significant power in the region, how is this an alliance?
At the present time, my son attends a Korean school and Korean is his first language. However, I can see where the present government is leading Korea and it isn’t to a place of greater stability in the region with its present allies. I have to now think strategically myself and consider that my family may have to relocate to the West at some point in the future because of the decisions that are being made now by the present administration.
Consequently, I have decided that my son will attend a Western school in Korea next year, because the course Korea is on will lead her into greater isolation in the years ahead and into closer union with the non-democratic powers of mainland Asia.
One has to wonder that if the man on the street (me) is making contingency plans for my family what are the men of power in Washington and Tokyo now beginning to say behind closed doors?
I love this country; I married a Korean, and do pray that Korea will not enter a long period of isolation in the years ahead because of misguided foreign policy.
by Michael Blais