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Independent and balanced

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31.01.2017
By Choi Sung-jin

Korea is facing a diplomatic perfect storm ― as this country surrounded by far larger neighborst has found itself many times over the past hundreds of years.

China's economic pressure against Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. missile defense system here has already cost several billions of dollars in lost export and tourism revenue.

Japan has suspended negotiations for a bilateral currency swap accord, accusing Seoul of reneging on the 2015 agreement between the two countries and allowing a civic group to put up another statue that symbolizes the "comfort women," in front of the Japanese consulate in Busan.

The two global powers are making economic retaliations against Korea to win a political tug-of-war. Beijing is violating one of its pronounced diplomatic principles of not interfering in other countries' internal affairs. Even after the comfort women accord, not a few Japanese officials have denied their government's legal responsibility or the coercive nature in the recruitment of wartime sex slaves.

All this notwithstanding, Seoul cannot refute Beijing and Tokyo head-on in part because of its weak national power and because of the bungled diplomacy by the Park Geun-hye administration. Had the Park government regarded the U.S. missile shield, called the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, indispensable for national security, it should have done its best to persuade ― or plead with ― China and Russia into understanding such a need.

Instead, Seoul........

© The Korea Times