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Strengthening South Korea’s new strategic posture

By Yoon Young-kwan

17 Jan 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Former foreign affairs minister of South Korea weighs in on how President Yoon Suk-yeol is rethinking the geopolitics within the Korean Peninsula which needs a more proactive stance from the US.

SEOUL – The geopolitical terrain in Northeast Asia is shifting, and, fortunately, the region’s two great democracies, Japan and South Korea, are moving in a similar direction. If prudent, strategic leadership prevails in both Tokyo and Seoul, the two countries’ historical enmity may finally be consigned to the past, and security across the Indo-Pacific region will be enhanced.

The catalyst for reducing the bilateral diplomatic friction – a problem that dates to the pre-World War II era– was Yoon Suk-yeol’s (no relation) inauguration as president of the Republic of Korea last May. With Yoon’s arrival in the presidential office, the pursuit of a chimerical “balance” in relations with China and the United States – previously a central focus of South Korea’s foreign policy – has given way to a more clear-eyed assessment of the country’s security needs.

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