Seoul – South Korea has elected a new president, and the man who takes the helm could significantly change the position of a key ally of the United States in the confrontation with North Korea. New President Yun Suk Yol is a conservative who has said he wants to teach North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un a “rough boy” in some manner.
“If you give me a chance, I’ll teach him manners,” Yun said during the election campaign, promising to force Kim to “get out of this” if he is elected.
Across the demilitarized zone, in the North Korean capital Pyongyang, state media on Wednesday reported that Kim was visiting his country’s national satellite control center, which is an integral part of his military’s missile program.
Yun’s election will undoubtedly change the dynamics with North Korea after years of efforts by outgoing President Moon Jae-in to establish diplomacy.
“We are aware of the growing North Korean nuclear threat, and amid fierce US-China strategic competition, we also face the challenge of strengthening our global diplomatic capabilities,” Yun said in a speech Thursday, adding that “to protect security and property. sovereignty of the people ”, South Korea will also“ build a strong national defense ”.
Citing North Korea’s “illegal and unreasonable behavior,” Yun promised to act decisively, but said “the door to inter-Korean dialogue will remain open.”
President Joe Biden was the first foreign leader to call Yuna to congratulate him on his election victory.
The Said the White House Mr Biden “emphasized the United States’ commitment to South Korea’s defense” and told Yun that he looked forward to working together to address global challenges from climate change to supply chain issues.
“Both are also committed to maintaining close coordination in combating the threats posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. [North Korea] nuclear and missile programs, ”the White House said in a statement.
Yun is relatively new to politics.
A former attorney general, he has been backed mostly by South Koreans who disagree with the outgoing government’s tolerant stance, especially on national security issues. But Yun did not shift South Korea’s presidency to the right, winning a large seat, winning the election with just 48.56 percent of the vote, or about 250,000 more ballots than his rival, with a majority of less than 1 percent.
Yun advocates a more assertive stance towards North Korea. He suggested deploying an additional US anti-missile system “THAAD” in his country to strengthen defense against a potential attack by North Korea.
The current THAAD system, deployed in South Korea by the U.S. in 2017, is a major dispute with North Korea’s ally and China’s main adversary, China, which claims the high-tech system allows the U.S. military to control China’s territory.