The administration of the trump spent a lot of time talking about the nuclear threat of North Korea, but its tough rhetoric has influenced not only Pyongyang. On the other side of the demilitarized zone, the last of the frozen borders of the cold war, South Koreans are also a little concerned.
Observers point to a number of intricate and disturbing statements made by the President of trump over the past few days. In an interview on Monday, trump called the North Korean despot Kim Jong-UN “sneaky” and said he would be willing to meet with Kim under the right circumstances. It happened after trump said he wants to make Seoul pay expensive new missile defense system, established by the United States in South Korea, known as THAAD.
Trump also questioned the economic and trade agreement George Bush with South Korea, which entered into force in 2012. Add to all this the comments trump made last month when he said that the Korean Peninsula has historically been part of China, it is not surprising that many in South Korea are not very pleased. Some even told The Washington Post last month that they are worried that trump may be a greater threat to their lives than Kim.
Trump’s statements came just a week before the presidential election in South Korea, which will take place on 9 may. The leader of the race, moon Jae-in, a liberal, much less aggressive towards North Korea than his predecessor, Pak Geun-Hye. He wants to work more closely with the North, and not further isolation. Moon also pledged to review the decision of the government of Pak, which has approved the THAAD program. This decision angered not only China, but supporters of a peaceful solution in South Korea who fear that the system will raise interest rates in the region, already filled with missiles and plagued by historical conflicts.
“It is designed to destroy North Korean missiles, but many in South Korea fear that they themselves will become a target,” wrote my colleague Anna Fifield.
In an interview with The Post moon said that he was disappointed such a rush of Americans in the installation of THAAD before the election. This limits the possibility of any future action by the government of South Korea.
“I do not think that the United States intends [to influence our elections], but I have some doubts,” said he Field. — The South Korean government would not rush to deploy a THAAD system in this politically difficult time, when the presidential election is coming, and there is no way to conduct the democratic process, environmental review or public hearings”.
“If South Korea will have more time for a democratic solution of this question, the United States will receive a higher trust level of South Koreans, and the Union between the two countries will become even stronger,” said moon.
After trump has offered South Korea to pay $ 1 billion for the privilege of placing THAAD on its territory (a proposal which was quickly denied by administration officials), this step has caused excitement in political circles of South Korea.
“Trump says about the Alliance of Korea and the United States,” reads the headline on the front page of a popular right-wing newspaper “Chosun Ilbo”. “There are issues much more important than money, says in an editorial. “If any country will drive the Alliance to the question of money or Economics, which will inevitably undermine trust.”
The conservative newspaper “Dong-A Ilbo” accused trump of the release of a “barrage of verbal bombs” before the South Korean elections. “We hope that trump will be more careful in his words — said in an editorial. — Who will be happy if our Alliance will be undermined? Kim Jong-UN (North Korea) and XI Jinping (China)”.
The property trump held a Grand show to strengthen pressure on North Korea. Despite the fact that she announced the completion of a policy of “strategic patience” Obama against Pyongyang, it is pursuing a policy of pressure and diplomacy, which looks the same as the former.
Awkward messages the White house during the election campaign in South Korea also create tension in the foreign policy trump. The first months the President has spent, mostly, trying to improve relations with autocrats. Trump defended the doctrine of “America first”, which is not interested in multilateral diplomacy and is skeptical about the extension of American commitments abroad, but, apparently, he encountered difficulties when he had to reckon with the democracies of persistent, long-standing American allies.
“The United States has limited ability to establish direction,” said Michael Anton, Director of strategic communications, national security Council, in an interview with The Post, justifying authoritarian approach trump. “We cannot force these countries to behave in a certain way. We can apply pressure; Yes, it happens an alternative demonstration is not enough, but how effective the breakup? If you abandon relationships, there will be no progress”.
However, trump seems often ready to do just that — only with countries such as Germany or South Korea, where solid, constructive relations are ostensibly given.
“So far the reaction in South Korea all that said trump was surprisingly restrained, but I think it is because the South Koreans are still trying to figure out what he is,’ said David Straub, a former American diplomat on the issues of North and South Korea. They know that he is an unusual President, and don’t pay attention to much of what he says, but, ultimately, some of these comments can have serious consequences.”
Meanwhile, the moon, who, according to polls, is almost certain to be elected President next week, remains optimistic.
“I think President trump more reasonable than it is usually thought that said moon in an interview with The Post. President trump uses harsh rhetoric against North Korea, but during the election campaign, he also said can meet for a Burger with Kim Jong-UN. I [speak] for such a pragmatic approach to solving the North Korean nuclear problem.”