2009年3月23日

The Changing U.S. - South Korean Alliance

The Changing U.S. - South Korean Alliance By Richard Halloran

"... the turbulence that afflicted the alliance in recent years has calmed down but the underlying issues have not been resolved. ...

... Much of the fault for the strain in the alliance has been laid at the feet of two former presidents, Roh Moo Hyun in Seoul and George W. Bush in Washington. Roh came to office in 2003 with an explicitly anti-American posture. Bush made little attempt to hide his contempt for Roh. ...

...President Lee evidently favors a stronger alliance with the US but lacks a national consensus behind him.... South Korea is now a highly divided society between pro-American conservatives and anti-American liberals.

Those Koreans who have resisted the transfer of wartime command of their forces, many of them in the older generation who remember American troops fighting for South Korea in the Korean War, fear that the transfer of operational control will lead the US eventually to abandon South Korea.

... the US has trimmed its forces in Korea to 28,500 from 37,000, and is consolidating them in posts south of Seoul from which they will support South Korea if needed. To keep US forces in Korea, Seoul is paying for 90 percent of the $2.5 billion cost of current construction at a post in Pyongtaek. Who will pay for the rest of the $13 billion in total costs is being negotiated."