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Yoon's diplomacy becomes test bed for ‘new Cold War’

Yoon's diplomacy becomes test bed for ‘new Cold War’

Posted April. 22, 2023 08:10,   

Updated April. 22, 2023 08:10


Ahead of the ROK-US summit on Wednesday (local time), relations between the Yoon Suk Yeol administration and North Korea-China-Russia are rapidly freezing. There are observations that North Korea, which announced the completion of military reconnaissance satellite No. 1, will increase the level of provocation before and after President Yoon's state visit to the United States. Targeting President Yoon's Taiwan-related remarks, China asserted, "Those who play with fire will surely burn to death." Russia is blatantly raising its threat level in the wake of President Yoon's remarks expressing possible arms support to Ukraine.

It is regarded that South Korea has also become involved in earnest in the new Cold War trend, which has become aggravated with the U.S.-China conflict and intensified due to the war in Ukraine. In the midst of this, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent an offering on Friday to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Class A war criminals of the Pacific War are enshrined. This means that obstacles are lurking everywhere, even in South Korea-Japan relations, which President Yoon has worked hard on. “The Yoon Suk Yeol administration, which is about to mark its first year in office, is facing a real test of diplomacy,” a high-ranking government official said in a phone call with The Dong-A Ilbo.

North Korea is intensifying its provocations by taking advantage of the rhetoric of the new Cold War. On last Thursday, the “Hwasong-18” ICBM using solid fuel was launched, and a day later, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened South Korea and the U.S. with “a lethal and offensive countermeasure, causing them to suffer from extreme anxiety and fear.” On Tuesday, he even asserted that the military reconnaissance satellite would be launched within the planned schedule.

Tensions are also ratcheting up over remarks on arms support for Ukraine. “It is true that the possibility of Russian retaliation has increased," a government source said. "We are keeping a close eye on major regions out of concern for damages to Koreans residing in Russia.”

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com · Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com