South Korea: new president wants to harden tone with Pyonyang

The new South Korean president, the conservative Yoon Seok-Youl, wishes to improve his relations with Japan and develop active collaboration with the United States.


The new South Korean president, the conservative Yoon Seok-Youl, wants to be a gathering and bearer of changes. Organized in the National Assembly in the presence of 41,000 people and despite some opposition demonstrations, the inauguration ceremony, Tuesday, May 10, saw the new head of state evoke “the vocation of our generation to build a nation which marries liberal democracy and promotes a flourishing market economy “. Mr. Yoon also wished to see his country “assume his responsibilities as a confidence member of the international community”.

Insisting on the notion of “freedom” – word he repeated 35 times -, the former 61 -year -old prosecutor, comes into office after being elected on March 9, after a campaign more marked by invective than by substantive debates.

After two months of transition, its support rate is 51.4 %, a limited level for a mandate. The new president, nicknamed the “combat rooster” for his tenacity, therefore seeks to bring together. Anxious to build “a nation that truly belongs to the people”, he has already chosen to move the presidency of the current blue house to the current Ministry of Defense. For him, the blue house embodied “an imperial power” too far from the population.

“on the path of denuclearization”

Now in office, he will try to implement the 110 priorities defined by his transition team. In the diplomatic field, breaking with the policy of rapprochement at all costs with North Korea promoted by Moon Jae-in, he deplored the nuclear threat brandished by Pyongyang while saying that he was ready to promote “an ambitious plan” plan ” from the North, if it “enters the path of denuclearization”.

In parallel, Mr. Yoon wishes to see Seoul “actively cooperate on international issues” with the United States and no longer simply “acquiesce the decisions taken” by Washington, while avoiding hitting Beijing. He thus gave up a campaign promise to acquire American anti -missile systems Thaad.

The new president also expressed his wish for a rapprochement with Japan, for “future” relationships and to satisfy Washington who wants good relations between his Japanese and South Korean allies. Relations between the two neighbors have degraded themselves strongly from Moon Jae-in’s time, due to disputes on historical issues, in particular so-called “comfort” women an euphemism to speak of women forced to prostitute themselves for soldiers of the ‘Japanese imperial army, and the forced work of Koreans during the Second World War.

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/Media reports.