South Korea Could Gravitate toward China

Article excerpt

South Korea may choose eventually to depart the security framework led by the United States in favor of siding with China, according to Jae Ho Chung, a Brookings Institution visiting fellow and a professor at Seoul National University. The expanding South Korea-China relationship has raised concern among U.S. policy experts, he said.

While North Korea still remains a security threat in the South, developments in the region are likely to precipitate certain changes in the half-century alliance between Seoul and Washington, he wrote in a paper, entitled "How America Views China-South-Korea Bilateralism."

The South Korea-United States alliance is no longer an indispensable frontline checkpoint against communism in East Asia, he wrote. "The curious relationship between Seoul and Beijing has come a long way from antagonistic enemies to cooperative partners for the future," Chung said. "Seoul's unprecedented efforts to devise a strategic balance between Washington and Beijing have been a source of' sour feelings and grave concern" for the United States. …

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