MARCH 15 2017

South Korea after Park


South Korea must now choose a new president within 60 days, with the strong possibility that Ms. Park’s conservative administration will be replaced by leftist leaders skeptical about the deployment of the American antimissile system, unhappy with growing tension with China and likely to prefer negotiating with North Korea rather than isolating it.


With unwritten chapters remaining, this moment is an important inflection point for South Korea. For this moment to not be wasted, however, the leadership vacuum in both the public and private sectors needs to be urgently filled by qualified leaders


Park's decision to accept THAAD has pushed her country closer to the US, which is a serious geopolitical mistake. It turned South Korea from as a country benefiting from its proximity to two big countries into a pawn of the US in Asia, making it a miniature Japan instead of an independent country. If South Korea doesn't correct its path, Park's legacy would still be in control of the country, as if she remains in the presidential hall


With leading presidential candidates, including the current front-runner Moon Jae-in of the main opposition Democratic Party, churning out their visions and pledges, including plans on government restructuring over the months, it seems a foregone conclusion that a shakeup will occur in the near future.


This is time to call for a strong leader in South Korea. Now with the impeachment of President Park, with the political process very much in an uncertain period of time, it is more likely that unexpected negative events may happen on the Korean peninsula bringing damage not only to North Korea and South Korea but neighboring countries like China


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