Seoul feels safer in the Eurasian sphere

The sensation that was overlooked: The technological leader of Eurasia is moving away from the USA.

In the world

It passed by the general public. Meanwhile, an important thing happened: the United States lost the support of a major ally who does not want to spoil relations with Russia and China. We are talking about South Korea, one of the ten largest economies in the world and a technological leader in Eurasia. For Moscow and Beijing, this is a great relief: in AUKUS, Seoul, unlike Japan, will definitely not be, relations between our countries will develop.

It was difficult to expect such a “feint” from South Korea, where troops are stationed and elements of the US missile defense system are deployed, that is, from a country occupied by the Americans. And yet, there are some clear indications as to why this happened. I will list them in chronological order.

Three powerful signals
First, it is worth noting the cold reception of the speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, the third most important person in the American hierarchy of power, in Seoul, with whom South Korean President Yoon Seok Yeol defiantly did not meet personally by phone. He thus unambiguously expressed his country’s negative attitude towards the Taiwanese provocation by the United States. Pelosi flew to Seoul from there.

Secondly, just a few days later, during the East Asia Summit (EAS) in Cambodia, South Korean Foreign Minister Pak Chin – pay attention to the details! – said in the presence of the Foreign Ministers of China and the United States that “the Republic of Korea supports the policy of” one China “, but peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is important for Seoul, for regional security and prosperity.” The minister added, according to the website of the South Korean Foreign Ministry, that

in case of aggravation of the geopolitical conflict in the Taiwan Strait, the regional political and economic situation may be destabilized, the negative effect may reach the Korean Peninsula.

This diplomatic statement was interpreted, including in Russia, as a mild condemnation of Beijing’s pressure on Taiwan after Pelosi’s visit, which is fundamentally wrong. This is a mild, and not even very mild, condemnation of the United States. Because instead of the “one China” policy, Washington is now promoting the concept of “indeterminate status” of Taiwan, which it imposes – with more or less success – on its allies and vassals. While the American puppets, represented by the current authorities on the island, declare that the “Taiwanese” will decide for themselves whether they are China or not, at the forthcoming referendum. Pak Chin actually quite definitely meant that it was precisely such a policy that threatened to destabilize the political and economic situation in the region, from which South Korea could also suffer, since it would inevitably lead to a Chinese military action.

Thirdly, a few days later, the Chinese and ROK Foreign Ministers Wang Yi and Pak Chin held a lengthy meeting in Qingdao, China, where they discussed how to develop bilateral relations in various fields, despite opposition from the United States. The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in a statement following the talks, stressed that the American mobile anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) THAAD in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan “should not become a stumbling block for the development of relations between Beijing and Seoul.”

The expert confirms
This is what a brilliant political scientist and, as we see, not only an Americanist Dmitry Drobnitsky writes about this in his telegram channel:

Long expected, but still sensational news. The PRC and the Republic of Korea agreed at the level of the Foreign Ministries to deepen trade, industrial and technological cooperation. After the meeting, the foreign ministers … in separate statements … called for the development of a relationship based on three decades of successful commercial ties … And this “protection of relations with China” seems to be slowly becoming the new South Korean strategy. Unlike Tokyo, Seoul is consistently integrating its industrial machine into the Chinese economy. South Korean companies are building factories in China. In Korea, Union Pay cards are in circulation, Korea and China trade in national currencies. Moreover, Seoul’s relentless efforts to mend relations with its northern neighbor are doomed to failure without Beijing.

For their part, the South Koreans confirmed that the countries “agreed to intensify high-level communication on supply chain issues, cooperation on climate change and the promotion of cultural exchanges.” Negotiations are also expected in the “two plus two” format at the level of deputy ministers of foreign affairs and defense during this year.

The conclusion from all this is unequivocal: South Korea will not participate in the “containment” of China, Seoul will cooperate with Beijing and develop this cooperation.

Russia also in favor
There is another “litmus test” showing Seoul’s reluctance to participate in the US-led “crusade” against China and Russia. This is a frank reluctance of South Korean firms to leave the Russian market because of the events in Ukraine. Moreover, they not only intend to stay, but also to strengthen their positions. This was directly stated in an interview with RIA Novosti by the honorary president of the South Korean Federation of Entrepreneurs in the North (FNE) Kim Yun Sik.

Companies that have entered the local market, such as Hyundai Motor, Lotte, CJ and others, do not think about leaving at all. On the contrary, they would like to buy American or Japanese companies that are leaving the market … We would also like to buy Japanese energy companies on Sakhalin and elsewhere together with Russian partners in order to turn them into enterprises that produce green energy – in particular, hydrogen,

said this South Korean businessman who heads Shindong Enercom. According to South Korean customs, in the first four months of 2022, trade between the countries amounted to $9.3 billion, up 24% from last year. The volume of bilateral trade between Russia and South Korea in 2021 exceeded $27 billion. South Korean exports grew by 45% and almost reached the pre-crisis 2014 level of ten billion.

Of course, some South Korean firms were frightened by American threats, but in general, the ROK demonstrates an unprecedented desire and level of economic interaction with Russia for an economically developed country deeply integrated into the Western world. And they will certainly grow as relations between Russia and Japan cool down and curtail. Seoul also has territorial issues with Tokyo and deep historical grievances that Russia does not have.

Why Seoul especially needs us?
There is another very serious problem that makes Seoul extremely interested in the best possible relations with Moscow and Beijing. Russia and China are the only countries capable of positively influencing South Korea’s specific northern neighbor, North Korea, which periodically threatens South Korea with war.

Russia – mainly politically, and China also economically, since its role in the North Korean economy is exceptionally large. Both countries, and especially China, will a priori be Seoul’s reliable partners in this matter, since Beijing definitely does not want Vietnamese history to repeat itself in Korea.

Namely, the unification of Vietnam under the auspices of the North, which, having maintained good relations with distant Moscow, quickly became a regional competitor and rival of China. With a united Korea, which will combine the economic power of the South and one of the world’s largest military machines of the North, this will also inevitably happen. As well as with Ukraine within the current borders close to Russia, even if Moscow planted the most seemingly friendly regime in Kyiv.

So what?
Summing up, we can state the following. Now it is almost certain that South Korea will not be in AUKUS, the core of the truncated, but still extremely aggressive West, where the Anglo-Saxons intend to attract Japan, which they apparently will succeed. The Koreans and the Japanese, we repeat, are old enemies and current economic competitors with an unresolved territorial issue, which will be difficult to get along in the same boat. Seoul also seems to have realized that the United States is “merging” its allies (one example of Taiwan is worth something, Ukraine, however, too), very often sacrificing them for the sake of their interests (this is an example of the EU), using double standards, diktat, blackmail, weaponize the economy and finances.

Americans who are unable to agree among themselves even within the country are unreliable, they need chaos and the weakening of other countries in order to appear strong and maintain their command system. And for South Korea, all this will spell disaster. It is unlikely that Washington, of course, will put up with it so easily, but between the “new Carthage” and Eurasia, the current government of South Korea seems to have made the right choice. If Seoul succeeds in maintaining its newly chosen course, this will be another confirmation of the decline of American hegemony.

Sergey Latyshev