Korea-U.S. ties erodingThe Roh Moo-hyun administration has placed the Korea-U.S. alliance in danger by getting trapped into an argument for self-reliance and by failing to prioritize practical interest.
One of the most important tasks for the next president will be to restore this alliance, which is now under attack.
The Korea-U.S. alliance was once held in high esteem. But in the past decade it has weakened under the successive administrations of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun. The cracks are now beginning to show.
Some commentators in the United States are arguing that this alliance should be re-assessed when the new administrations of both countries take office.
The next Korean president must learn from his predecessors’ mistakes and do his best to restore a healthier Korea-U.S. alliance.
The next president must also fully understand the new environment for national security and present a strategic vision for the Korea-U.S. alliance in the 21st century.
China is rapidly rising as an economic and military powerhouse. Japan is also working to transform itself into a country that can wage war. It is currently enhancing its military capability to become a military superpower.
Korea’s next president must ensure that the design of the future Korea-U.S. alliance can adjust to the changing national security environment.
The next president will take over wartime control of Korean troops from the United States in April 2012. But our next president must insist that the timetable is flexible and can be changed, if necessary, in response to an altered national security paradigm.
Korea and the United States both stand for liberal democracy, a market economy and pluralism.
The free trade agreement between the two countries symbolizes the collective goals that both countries pursue. Without the United States, the future of Korea’s economy will be bleak. The best bet for continuing peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula depends on a reliable framework for the Korea-U.S. alliance.
For the United States, this alliance can play a crucial role in balancing power in Northeast Asia and ensuring security.
Korea and the United States must declare a fresh blueprint for a new alliance that will benefit both countries, just as the United States has done with Japan.