The ROK-US Alliance is critical to President Park’s successful implementation of her unification policy, a policy mandated by the ROK’s 1987 Constitution (by type, not content, the latter being the individual President’s prerogative). First, it defends the ROK people, territory and institutions by deterring North Korean aggression, albeit it only limits, not completely deters, NK provocations. Secondly, it represents the commonly shared values of both the ROK and US in the concepts of democracy and free markets and the defense of those values. Thirdly, the designation and manning of a US four-star to serve as the wartime commander of designated ROK and US forces amplifies the message of US commitment to the defense of the ROK, as does the bilateral manning of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command. This is critical should NK deception be successful. Fourthly, the US technical capabilities contribute to President Park’s awareness of NK deception in behavior, intent and negotiation through detection of inconsistent actions - not perfect, but critical. Fifthly, it serves significantly as a consideration point in foreign investment into the ROK. All US traders will tell you they calculate the efficacy of the alliance into their risk-vs-gain calculations when investing in the ROK, something other nations’ investors do as well. There are many more points of consideration, but these have always been the main issues, regardless of the politics that distort, one way or another, their criticality. President Park goes into any negotiation with NK with this kind of confidence.
From: David Maxwell <David.Maxwell@georgetown.edu>
Date: Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 10:29 AM
Subject: Park calls for creating conditions for talks with N. Korea