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Relations between the US and South Korea have somehow hit a slight setback when Donald Trump was criticized for failing to make North Korea sign an agreement to reduce its nuclear arsenal. However, that may be repaired, preventing a possible World War 3 once Joe Biden enters the presidency, according to experts.
Trump and his “America First” agenda have put a strain on the relations between the US and its allies, among them being South Korea. However, once Biden is sworn in as president by January 2021, the road to reaffirming ties with allies may prove a challenge but the commitment is there. Speaking on The Impossible State Podcast this month, Korea expert Sue Me Terry shared how impressed she was with the incoming president’s opinion piece on South Korea during his campaign trail that showed his commitment to maintaining the alliance.
“He focused on South Korea by saying that the US would stand with South Korea, should not extort Seoul, and will not withdraw troops,” said Terry. “He talked about standing at the DMZ with his granddaughter and so on and talked about the pain of the separation of families -- I think this is the right approach.” Terry went on to note that reinforcing the relations between the US and South Korea must be dealt with before tackling anything related to North Korea.
Biden’s potential approach is a stark contrast from the approach taken by Trump during his presidency. Aside from garnering backlash due to his failure to get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to agree to limit its nuclear stockpile, Trump has also cast doubt on allies depending on the US’ military spending, according to Terry.
The Trump administration has over recent months reinforced the US’ alliance with the island of Taiwan, especially against China. The Taiwanese government recently unveiled its military submarine program with assistance from US defense contractors in the midst of its conflict with China. The Communist nation has claimed that Taiwan is under their sovereignty and that any contact with the island from foreign powers must go through them first.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ling Wen announced how proud she is of the country’s submarine program and noted that the country is determined to continue developing its defense industry to “safeguard its sovereignty and democracy.”