Where will the US ROK alliance go?

Recently, Xu Xun, head of the South Korean national security office, and Xu Xu, head of the Ministry of national defense, both visited the United States to discuss with U.S. officials the issue of a final war declaration, the transfer of combat command, and the apportionment of defense costs. However, little has been achieved. From October 13 to 16, Xu Xun, head of the South Korean security department, visited Washington at invitation. He met with U.S. security advisor O’Brien and U.S. Secretary of state pompeio to discuss major issues such as the declaration of final war, the transfer of wartime operational command, and the defense cost sharing agreement between the two countries. The South Korean side pointed out that this is Xu Xun’s first visit to the United States since taking office as head of the national security office in July this year. The purpose is to strengthen strategic communication between the two countries on major issues such as North Korea, so as to gain firm support from the United States for the development of South Korea US alliance. At the same time, South Korean Defense Minister Xu Xu attended the 52nd ROK US security conference with US Defense Minister esper in Washington on 14 July. Defense ministers of the two countries discussed such issues as the transfer of wartime operational command. On the same day, the United States and South Korea also held the fifth vice ministerial strategic economic dialogue in the form of video, and the two sides exchanged views on issues such as the “net action” promoted by the United States. Xu Xun was previously known as the “channel to connect the United States” by the outside world because he had visited the United States many times when he was the president of the Korean intelligence agency, and had more contacts with Peng Peio, then director of the US CIA. In 2018, Xu Xun went to Pyongyang to meet with North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un, and then went to the United States to convey to trump the DPRK’s plan to hold talks between the DPRK and the United States, which eventually led to the “special gold meeting”. However, Xu Xun’s visit is very embarrassing. Xu Xun’s visit to the United States was originally confidential, but the US State Department “accidentally” leaked relevant information when updating pompeio’s itinerary, which caught South Korea by surprise. The “firm” behavior of the South Korean alliance is hard to see in the United States. < p > < p > for the United States, “us first” is unshakable, and the strategic interests of the United States are certainly ahead of the political, security and economic interests of South Korea. The United States even “needs” the periodic instability of the peninsula situation, so as to garrison the peninsula and Northeast Asia, control the allies and improve the global strategic layout. For South Korea, the security provided by the United States is important, but peace and stability on the peninsula is an important prerequisite for the country’s sustainable development. In order to ease the situation on the peninsula and promote the reunification of the north and the south, South Korea has proposed “war cease-fire”, political peace talks and common economic development, which have not been recognized by the United States. In view of the rapid development of North South relations since the 2018 Pingchang Winter Olympics, the United States has pressed North Korea step by step through the policy of “extreme pressure” on North Korea, thus returning the once slowing down situation on the peninsula to its original form.

South Korean President Wen Yin proposed nearly two times that the Korea war between 1950 and 1953 was officially concluded by South Korea and the United States, calling it the way to open peace on the Korean Peninsula and further consolidate the Korea US alliance. The United States proposed that it should first reach an agreement on the ultimate goal of denuclearization, and then formulate a comprehensive road map. In the view of the United States, since the last war is not over, the transfer of command should be eased. In 2015, South Korea and the United States reached an agreement on the conditions for the transfer of wartime operational command. Xu Xu said at the South Korea US security meeting a few days ago that South Korea would meet the required conditions as soon as possible and complete the handover as soon as possible. Esper said that “it will take a long time to meet all the conditions.”. A mere scrap of paper was made by Wen Yin’s pledge to complete the transfer before the end of the term of office in May 2022. With the loss of command power, the issue of us garrison spending has become the focus again. Before that, South Korea shared about $900 million a year. Trump proposed to increase it to $5 billion last year, and then changed its mouth to $4 billion, which is far beyond the scope of South Korea’s tolerance. In addition, the United States also attempted to tie South Korea into the chariot of “great power competition” and make it obey its own orders. For example, it asked South Korea to join the “four party security dialogue” and “net net operation”. In essence, it regarded South Korea as a pawn to encircle and contain its rivals, and ignored South Korea’s development and economic interests. The superposition of various contradictions and divergences has led to great cracks in the US ROK alliance. In fact, the status of the United States and South Korea in the alliance has been unequal from the beginning, especially since Trump came to power. Bolton pointed out in the house of mischief: Memoirs of the White House that trump does not really care about the security of the peninsula and South Korea, nor does he care about whether weapons of mass destruction can be eliminated. He is interested in how his efforts for peace will play a role in the media and whether he can claim that these efforts are “great success”. This confuses South Korea and shakes its confidence in Washington. On October 12, Korean ambassador to the United States, Lee soo hye, attended the national affairs monitoring meeting of the ROK conference by video on October 12, saying that the choice of the United States by South Korea 70 years ago does not mean that South Korea will continue to choose the United States in the future, and it should make a choice according to whether it is in line with national interests. Li further explained that the ROK US alliance is not only a military alliance, but also covers economic, social and cultural aspects. Due to the difficulty in apportioning defense costs, trump threatened to reduce the troops stationed in South Korea. In the joint statement of the security conference for the first time in 12 years, the statement of “maintaining the existing scale of US forces in South Korea” was deleted. In 2008, South Korea and the United States decided to keep the US troops stationed in South Korea at the level of 28500, which was included in the statement of the security conference. Since then, it has been emphasized in the statement every year that this content has been deleted, which makes the outside world think highly of it. Driven by the concept of “us first”, the trump administration carried out unilateralism and bullying, totally disregarding the interests of other countries, and forced the allies to enter the confrontation track of the United States, leading to the increasingly alienated relationship between the United States and the alliance. Where will the US ROK alliance go? Bolton, a former U.S. national security adviser, said: like some long-term marriages, the US ROK alliance will continue to exist, but South Korea’s trust in the United States has been seriously shaken, and the relationship between the two countries may never go back to the past.