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Americans just don't get it

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a "Keep America Great" rally at the Monroe Civic Center in Louisiana on Wednesday. The U.S. under Trump's leadership sees its role on the world stage dwindling. AFP-Yonhap
By Oh Young-jin

I am quite sure that I am not the only Korean who sees a recent visit by a trio of senior American officials as one big sales pitch.

It is rather odd, because there was a time when even one senior official from Washington would weigh on Koreans' collective heart as if their existential present and future were at stake. It remains to be seen whether it reflects a real change of time, a fatal illusion or a combination of both.

First, David R. Stilwell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, just left after meeting Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Kim Hyun-chong, second deputy chief at Cheong Wa Dae's National Security Office.

Stilwell came and went without much fanfare. But three presidents before, his predecessor James Kelly assumed such heft as to serve as guest of honor for an important lunch hosted by the late President Roh Moo-hyun during his first Washington visit.

Reaction to Stilwell's visit captures as much change in the Korea-U.S. relationship as that between he and Kelly. Stilwell tried obviously with a dubious degree of success to persuade Seoul to get Korea back into the military intelligence-sharing pact ― or the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) ― with Japan.

Protesters rally against U.S. demands for big increases in the payment for maintaining U.S. troops in Korea and........

© The Korea Times