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North Korea and China are big winners of the worsening spade between Japan and South Korea

But the decision to abandon the agreement is a blow to the United States-led military alliance, which for decades has been helping to promote peace in Northeast Asia while suppressing increasing Chinese influence.

Experts say the situation is another example of how President Donald Trump's lack of interest in longstanding alliances has given Washington's opponents a chance to break those ties. The same criticism was voiced earlier this year as Seoul and Tokyo fought over a series of military clashes.

China and North Korea have long sought to reduce US military presence in Northeast Asia by putting pressure on Trilateral relations between Washington, Seoul and Tokyo.

The weakest link in this triangle is between Seoul and Tokyo, which are deeply distrustful of Korea's heritage of Japanese colonization. Critics of Trump's Northeast Asian policy have accused the president of ignoring Washington's traditional role in mediating between South Korea and Japan in both directions, "said retired General Vincent Brooks, who formerly commanded the US South Korean forces. [19659005] What it does

In practical terms, the task of the Intelligence Agreement will slow things down.

Let's say North Korea is firing another short-range missile, which they did with increasing frequency this summer, the data that the South Korean intelligentsia did From this test we can see how far, fast, and high the missile can reveal important details about the weapon's sophistication, and these conclusions can help Tokyo, Seoul, and Washington better prepare the missile defense systems for the worst.

it the two sides, "suture "But the US will be forced to assume the role of the middle man," said Abraham Denmark, a former Deputy US Secretary of Defense for East Asia.

"This slows down decision-making, which is frustrating on a daily basis but could have a serious impact on a rapidly developing crisis."

It is also likely that China, an emerging regional power that claims to be managed islands, is encouraged by Japan and has pushed back South Korea for its use of the US missile shield THAAD.

The recent rise of the Chinese military has alarmed the US defense chiefs, who warned in a previous report that Beijing intended to become "the outstanding power in the Indo-Pacific."

Since 2014, China has fired more submarines, warships, main amphibious ships, and auxiliary ships than the total number of ships currently deployed in the navies of Germany, India, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, according to a think tank report IISS from 2018.

The Chinese Air Force has also been regularly introduced new and improved aircraft and weapons, including the twin-engine J-20 stealth fighter.

According to the US Department of Defense, Beijing's Air Force is currently the largest in Asia and the third largest in the world closes the gap with the US "across a spectrum of capabilities".

To counteract this ambition, the US must intensify its cooperation with and among Asian defense partners. In a statement issued on Friday, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said that South Korea's move is a "misunderstanding" of the current security situation in the region. "It is extremely unfortunate and disappointing," said Iwaya Meanwhile, state Mike Pompeo said he was "disappointed" by Seoul's decision to leave the agreement and hoped that "these two countries can start putting that relationship back on the right track Place ".

What This Means

] Although Seoul and Tokyo are the only liberal democracies in the region, they are essentially friends of convenience thanks to each country's treaty with the United States. They are historical opponents, and the legacy of Japanese colonization of the Korean peninsula in the first half of the 20th century is emerging. Under Japanese rule, many Koreans were brutalized, murdered and enslaved. It is still a living reminder for older Koreans and remains an extremely emotional topic in both North and South Korea.

South Korea and Japan signed a treaty in 1965 to normalize relations between the two countries and settle the remaining war problems.

] But South Korea was a military dictatorship at the time, and many Koreans considered the deal unfair.

Today, the two countries are engaged in a heated debate about statues depicting "comfort women" – Korean women forced to provide sexual services to Japanese soldiers – and decisions of the South Korean Supreme Court allowing citizens to use Japanese To sue companies for reparation for forced labor.

Japan claims that both issues were regulated by the treaty. The two countries were largely untouched. It was Washington's traditional duty to bring both sides to the table, to root out problems and to sell them the benefits of unity when faced with threats from Pyongyang or Beijing.

President Donald Trump, however, seemed to shun this role. He has publicly questioned the value of investing so much American money in the alliance's networks in the region, and urges both South Korea and Japan to invest more in their military partnership with the US, especially as the Trump administration does not have enough time invested or showed that she cares as much about maintaining the alliance as his predecessors did, said Van Jackson, a former official of the Obama Administration's Department of Defense specializing in Northeast Asian affairs.

"This could have happened at any earlier time in the last 20 years, and the only reason this was not the case was for middle-level people and US political officials who spent a lot of time and political capital to try to improve this flammability, "he said.

Experts say that US opponents like North Korea, China and even Russia are likely to feel an opening. Pyongyang and Beijing have long been trying to wrench in relations between all three countries in order to advance their own goals.

"This is a blessing for those who want a decline in US power in Asia and a weakening of their alliances – especially for China and North Korea," said Denmark, which now heads the Woodrow Wilson International Center Asia program for scientists.

"Both see the United States as their main opponent and the US alliances as a major obstacle to their strategic goals, and problems between US alliances – especially those that are as critical as Japan and South Korea – are both viewed as challenging American strategy, but also a symbol of the decline of American power in Asia. "

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