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'N. Korea’s retaliation should not be feared,' Yoon says

'N. Korea’s retaliation should not be feared,' Yoon says

Posted December. 29, 2022 07:42,   

Updated December. 29, 2022 07:42


South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Wednesday that South Korea must not be fearful or hesitant just because North Korea has nuclear weapons. His comment was made during a meeting with his advisors as controversies about the South Korean military’s poor response to North Korea’s provocation with drones. The president ordered strong retaliation in response to the North’s provocations and added that that is the most powerful way to deter provocations.

Meanwhile, the South Korean government released its independent Indo-Pacific Strategy Report on Wednesday. The report deals with nine core initiatives, such as ‘building orders in the Indo-Pacific region based on rules and principles.’ This is the first time South Korea has proposed a comprehensive regional strategy.

The Indo-Pacific strategy was developed with a focus on the U.S. as tensions between the U.S. and China intensified. As the report focuses on keeping China in check, how the relations with China are defined is garnering attention.

In the report, the South Korean government defined China as a “key country for cooperation to build prosperity and peace in the Indo-Pacific region”. It stated that “efforts to build healthier and more mature relations between South Korea and China will be made.” In addition, the government proposed an “inclusive vision that does not target or exclude specific countries” as the vision of the Indo-Pacific strategy.

The government also presented freedom, the rule of law, and human rights as the key components of the Indo-Pacific strategy, in line with the U.S.’s focus on ‘value diplomacy.’ However, the South Korean government’s report is deemed more inclusive of China than the U.S. and Japan’s Indo-Pacific strategies. Some say that the report is subject to criticism from both the U.S. and China as the Indo-Pacific strategy itself has the tendency to keep China in check while the report tried not to provoke China. A high-level government official in South Korea said that the relattends which is South Korea’s biggest export market, could not be ignored.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com · Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com