Visit confirms the solid alliance

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Visit confirms the solid alliance

President Yoon Suk-yeol met with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in the presidential office in Yongsan on Thursday. The meeting was held in an uncomfortable atmosphere after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the controversy over the president’s remarks in New York. But the results of his meeting with the U.S. vice president is promising.

Responding to Yoon’s concerns about U.S. discrimination against Korean electric vehicles (EVs), Harris expressed hope for cooperation to hammer out a “mutually satisfactory solution based on the spirit of the FTA” between the two allies. Relaying Biden’s understanding of Korea’s worries about the discrimination, she promised to ease Korea’s concern in the process of executing the act. The vice president also shared views on providing U.S. liquidity to Korea to stabilize fluctuating financial markets, raising the prospect of a currency swap with America. Over Yoon’s hot-mic moment in New York, she said the U.S. does not care about it at all.

We welcome the remarks by the vice president. What is most needed for a sustainable alliance in times of growing uncertainties is respect, cooperation and consideration for the ally. If such frictions are resolved, her visit to Korea will offer a turning point.

Harris's visit to the DMZ on Thursday — the first of its kind for a high-level official from the Biden administration — testified to the solidity of the alliance when North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea while the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is exercising with the South Korean navy. It is the first time for North Korea to make such a bold provocation. North Korea will likely conduct its seventh nuclear test sometime between October 16, when the Communist Party of China is set to convene its 20th National Congress, and November 7, the midterm election day in the U.S.

A joint anti-submarine drill that South Korea, the U.S. and Japan conduct today for the first time in five years is aimed at effectively responding to North Korea’s advanced nuclear capabilities, including SLBMs. Nevertheless, Rep. Ahn Gyu-back, a lawmaker from the Democratic Party, expressed concerns about a joint exercise with the Japanese navy on the waters between Dokdo and Japan, which claims territorial rights to the islets. He wondered if the Yoon administration really wants to allow the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to intervene at times of crisis.

The DP legislator even exposed the location of the submarine drill to help North Korea, Russia and China to collect detailed information of the exercise. We are dumbfounded at the slanted perspective of the former chairman of the Military Committee in the legislature.
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