Since way back in the Before Time the world has been magically blessed with 2 Koreas - the yankee part is little more than a starving, slave trading underground rocket factory with an unfree, unfun new clear weaponized nation state attached.
The Great Satan SoKo Hook Up is up for grabs...
Throughout the history of the U.S.-ROK alliance, South Korea has faced abandonment fears stemming from the possibility that its great power sponsor would remove its troops from the Korean peninsula and end or weaken the alliance. South Korea’s fear is a reasonable reflection of historical events.
In 1950, Kim Il Sung’s decision to invade South Korea depended on his belief that the United States would not come to Seoul’s rescue. Even today, South Korean fears of abandonment persist despite the current strength of the alliance. The U.S. is a global actor with an array of interests that make it difficult to maintain focus on any one relationship, no matter the importance. Since the United States has interests across the globe, it often has to react to unplanned circumstances that distract attention from declared policies and long-term strategies.
For the United States, it is important to be aware of abandonment fears of its allies. Awareness of these fears does not mean that U.S. strategy should be held hostage to them, but as in all relationships communication is important. Rather than consult with the ROK, Nixon and Carter unilaterally made plans that had serious implications for ROK security, and even let other parties know before South Korea. ROK feelings of insecurity can result in outcomes that are not in America’s best interests, such as Park’s secret plan to build a nuclear weapon.
For the ROK, it is important to realize that the U.S-ROK alliance is not an iron-clad guarantee, but a relationship that the ROK needs to tend carefully. Carter was clear that Americans found Park Chung Hee’s human rights violations repugnant and that this divergence in the U.S. and ROK government’s values was a factor in the planned troop withdrawal. While the ROK is today a liberal democracy that is closely aligned to the United States, maintaining close relations should remain a priority and should not be taken for granted.
However, no matter how much communication and relationship building the United States and the ROK commit to, as the weaker partner in the relationship, it is likely that the ROK’s abandonment fear will play an important role in the alliance as long as it exists.