Country Reports

Foremost on the minds of South Korean media writers was the intensifying competition between the United States and China and its impact on their country. Pressure has been mounting to join in exclusive economic arrangements, to make clear Seoul’s position on the PRC national security law for Hong Kong, to meet with the G7 to address concerns over China, and to coordinate as a US ally to counter the military build-up of China. Conservative media doubled down on the issue of bilateral alliance with the United States as the bedrock of foreign policy, while resisting US SMA demands or even warning against Trump’s transactional approach and differing on how much strategic ambiguity to retain with China. Progressive media warned against joining in containing China and insisted on balancing relations with the US and China. On leaflets for North Korea and the ruling party’s proposed revised Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act, the differences were stark. Conservatives worried about weakening the international sanctions regime. Progressives welcomed enhanced cooperation between the two Koreas. When the joint liaison office was blown up, conservatives lambasted Moon’s failure. The Yoon Mi-hyang scandal called into question the campaign to undermine the “comfort women” agreement with possible repercussions for Moon’s policy towards Japan as well as for South Korea-Japan relations. A mid-June court decision to seize company assets is a timebomb.

Read full article at
facebook share twitter share google+ share