Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Speaking out

Yoshiko Sakurai

【#248】Questioning President Park’s International Sense

Yoshiko Sakurai / 2014.05.28 (Wed)

May 26, 2014

     What South Korean President Park Geun-hye should do is to coolly identify the true enemies that threaten her country's survival. Undoubtedly, the enemies are North Korea and China. She should fight against pro-Pyongyang South Koreans, North Korea as their controller, and China behind the North.
     Nevertheless, she dismissed National Security Office chief Kim Jang-soo and National Intelligence Service director Nam Jae-joon. At a time when pro-Pyongyang groups have become widespread in the South Korean nerve center as indicated by the revelation of a riot conspiracy in the opposition Unified Progressive Party, the effective ouster of the heads of the two organizations which have been supporting the president since her inauguration and fighting against North Korean threats amounts to bowing to the enemy.

Association with China is way out of line
     President Park has also based her foreign policy strategy on association with the United States and China. Any approach of treating China and the United States in the same way is way out of line. A strategy to denuclearize North Korea with the help of the United States and China represents a wishful thinking that has failed to learn from the failure of the six-party talks over the past 11 years. Over the period, China has helped North Korea develop nuclear weapons, instead of preventing the North from doing so. As a result, North Korea is now feared to have operational nuclear weapons.
     Indicating China's real intention is the government's view given at the time of then South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's visit to China in May 2008, which said any Cold War era military alliance like the U.S.-South Korea alliance could not address regional security problems. In the same way as its consistent effort to separate Japan from the United States, China intends to break up the U.S.-South Korea alliance and eliminate U.S. influences from the Korean Peninsula.
     China will surely monopolize the Korean Peninsula free from U.S. influences. As far as China's strategic objective is to do so, China cannot be expected to help South Korea while accepting the U.S.-South Korea alliance. President Park's dreamy expectation that the United States and China would protect South Korea well is a too optimistic illusion way out of line from the logic of international politics.

Right choice for South Korea
     The world is now being divided into two blocs. One bloc stresses freedom, democracy and international law, including the United States, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The other denies these values, covering China, Russia, North Korea, Syria, Iran and some others.
     Particularly remarkable in China is the prejudice against Koreans, in addition to the single-party dictatorship, the crackdown on ethnic minorities, the denial of freedom and the ignorance of international law. President Park has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping as a leader she can get along well with and tended to depend on China. Such foreign policy is quite absurd, running counter to history.
     The question for President Park is whether South Korea would move hand-in-hand with China as the world’s troublemaker and stand on the side of Russia and Syria or join the side of the United States and Japan to secure the peace and order of mankind in the 21st century with democracy, freedom and international law.
     The former choice would make South Korea a tributary state of China once again. The right choice for President Park is clear. The problem is whether the president has an international sense or a political reason to make the right choice.

Yoshiko Sakurai is President, Japan Institute for National Fundamentals.