Although South Korea extended the “Korean-Japanese Military Intelligence Protection Agreement” at the last moment, the situation of South Korea’s diplomacy can still be described as “a song on all sides.” From a broad perspective, South Korea’s foreign security issues are mainly the United States, China, Japan, and North Korea. South Korea and the United States are currently in conflict over the sharing of defense expenses of the U.S. military in South Korea and South Korea ’s participation in the “Indo-Pacific Strategy”; South Korea and Japan are in conflict over issues such as compulsory labor compensation and exclusion of South Korea from the “white list” of trade; South Korea-China relations have not yet come out of the aftermath of “Sad.”
“Alliance” annoys South Korea
In fact, the dilemma that South Korea ’s diplomacy is currently experiencing is due to the changes in the international landscape. It is also a common problem faced by all small and medium-sized countries. All of these originated in the United States, which can be seen from the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” that is still based on the military. The United States leads the international order in a “beacon of princes” and only hopes to realize its national interests. Now the world is seeing more and more clearly. Trump’s presidency is by no means accidental, but a true portrayal of the United States today.
The United States is still a society maintained by the system, but more than 70 years after the end of World War II, the global fatigue of the United States as a “world police”, the widespread use of new energy such as shale gas, and the widespread application of artificial intelligence have changed the existing international order. . With the possibility of joining the newly formed new energy grid and artificial intelligence and new technology group as a sign, countries around the world are showing polarization. The United States’ frequent retreat and the “beat” of its allies have caused anxiety to other countries, which is distressing South Korea, which is trying to maintain the original concept of alliance.
Due to the resurgence of unilateralism, the concept of the alliance, which was previously based on spiritual pillars such as ideology, is being shaken. If this direction continues, no matter how political elites such as the US Congress or the military maintain alliances, further alienation is inevitable. Moreover, if the original allies gradually adopt a rebellious attitude, the relationship between the United States and its allies will be further weakened or possibly disintegrated, and ultimately only the core allies will become the agents of the United States. Other Allied Congresses paid garrison fees in accordance with the requirements of the United States to maintain stability for a certain period of time. In fact, moral allies like South Korea have begun to be squeezed.
As a first-level ally of the United States, Japan currently adopts a “Japan First” doctrine similar to that of the United States. From the standpoint of Japanese nationals, Abe is a “not bad” leader. He revitalized the “lost 20 years” of the Japanese economy and proposed a national future development strategy, and even the United States’ “Indo-Pacific strategy” was Abe’s work in itself. Although it failed to occupy two-thirds of the seats in the Senate, Japan has stood at the entrance to the steps towards a “normal country.” Therefore, South Korea and Japan still have many hidden contradictions.
May say “no” to the United States
Even so, the predicaments faced by South Korea’s diplomacy cannot be fully pushed to external factors. The Wen Zainyin government needs to promote a more creative and proactive foreign policy. Although Wen Zaiyin’s five-year term is over half, he still has plenty of time to achieve diplomatic results. Although South Korea ’s diplomacy is currently full of twists and turns, from a historical perspective, it has still achieved many substantial results. The North Korean policy was established during the Lu Tae-woo government, and diplomatic relations were established with China and Russia; the relationship between the Kim Dae-jung government improved South Korea and North Korea; the Roh Moo-hyun government signed the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA); and Lee Myung-bak government overcame the impact of the international financial crisis ; Park Geun-hye signed the Korea-China FTA during the administration. So, what is the direction of Wen Zaiyin’s foreign policy in the future?
In the long run, the South Korean government must pay attention to changes in US foreign policy. For most countries familiar with the existing international order, it is customary to rely on the existing international system. At present, the fetters of South Korea’s diplomacy are mainly due to the northern factors. It is fundamentally difficult to achieve a truly independent and independent diplomacy. In the event of an emergency, it is difficult for South Korea to reject the US request. Although South Korea ’s domestic politics has been split into conservative and progressive forces, even if the progressive forces are in charge, they have had to pursue a US-centric foreign policy. If the United States continues its current foreign policy direction, the dissatisfaction of the international community will inevitably increase, and South Korea will also be distressed by the deep scars brought about by the value of the alliance.
Nowadays, although South Korea shows the sincerity of its allies to the United States as much as possible, there are more and more cases of saying “No”. If the United States wants to make the “Indo-Pacific strategy” a “New NATO”, then South Korea will never participate; it is also difficult for the South Korean side to accept the United States’ excessive demand for the sharing of US defense defense costs in the ROK; The issue of “weapons deployment in South Korea” also requires South Korea to clearly adhere to its original position.
Strengthening cooperation with China
In terms of relations with Japan, the South Korean government must adhere to principles. Japan ’s containment strategy against South Korea has basically been determined since the South Korean court ruled on the issue of forced labor requisition last year. Earlier, Japan excluded South Korea from the “white list” of trade. In the eyes of many Koreans, this is like the warriors of the Warring States period draw swords, and they feel that they must cut something from South Korea anyway. Today, Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s impression in the minds of South Koreans has been very negative. Although the South Korean government has decided to continue the “Korean-Japanese Military Intelligence Protection Agreement,” relations between South Korea and Japan will continue to be difficult in the future. Judging from the current contradiction between South Korea and Japan, it can be called a test of the strength of the other party, and also an exploration in the establishment of a new order. Because this is an inevitable pain in the process of reorganizing regional order and reshaping relations between New South Korea and Japan.
In order to get rid of the current situation of Korean diplomacy, it is imperative to further strengthen cooperation with China. Although the importance of China has also been felt before, South Korea ’s diplomacy has not been able to get rid of the priority model of North Korea and the United States under the traction of the North Korean nuclear issue, and it is relatively inadequate to pay attention to China. However, with the upcoming Korean, Chinese, and Japanese leaders meeting in December this year, when the time is ripe, Chinese leaders may also visit South Korea next year. The South Korean government should be committed to building a new type of China-ROK relations, which will allow South Korea’s diplomacy to “open the breathing channel.”
If South Korea and China can work together to strengthen cooperation and make the region more prosperous and peaceful, China will support South Korea in the security and economic fields, and South Korea will cooperate with China in international affairs. This will undoubtedly be a win-win situation. In the future, when Chinese leaders visit the ROK, if not only the North Korean nuclear issue, but also a new cooperative relationship in the “Belt and Road” and South Korea’s “New South Policy”, or even in the multilateral field, this will not only benefit the new China-ROK relations. The establishment is more conducive to the improvement of China’s leadership in the international community. South Korea’s diplomacy can also take this to make it more accessible and add new impetus and synergies.