February 25, 2024

The American-shaped dilemmas facing South Korea’s next President

Could Moon Jae-in recalibrate the alliance with the U.S.?

Moon Jae-in may soon be South Korea’s President. A former aide to the deceased former President Roh Moo-hyun, Moon is known to share his former boss’s views on the North Korean issue and a more critical attitude to the ROK-U.S. alliance. Indeed, a recent article published in the New York Times highlighted his desire to say ‘no’ to America, at least when South Korea wants to.

This speaks to a wider fact: the ROK-U.S. alliance is not popular with liberal voters in the South due to a number of historical and contemporary reasons. But the question is, what does it all mean for South Korea’s security? And what are South Korea’s options with regard to the alliance?