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Topsy-turvy ties

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28.09.2020
By John Burton

As the 2020 U.S. presidential elections approach, it is extraordinary to see how the Trump administration has transformed America's relations with the Korean Peninsula over the past four years.

Since 1948, when Korea regained its independence, the U.S. has traditionally been a steadfast defense ally of South Korea while it has cautiously kept North Korea at arm's length and often treated the country with contempt.

In many ways, President Trump has turned America's relations with the two Koreas topsy-turvy. Trump has apparently established genuine personal rapport with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to Bob Woodward's new book, "Rage." You are my friend and always will be," Trump told Kim at one point, while Kim spoke of a "deep and special friendship between us."

Meanwhile Trump keeps criticizing South Korea for growing rich on "terrible" trade deals with the U.S. and for not paying its "fair share" of defense costs to support U.S. troops in the country, even threatening to withdraw them.

Whether Trump wins or loses in the Nov. 3 election, the next U.S. government in 2021 will confront a "new normal" when it comes to the Korean Peninsula as a result of Trump's actions.

This provides an........

© The Korea Times


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