Yoon confuses right and wrong by blaming China for his extreme foreign policy: analysts
Published: May 03, 2023 08:57 PM
Yoon Suk-yeol Photo: Xinhua

Yoon Suk-yeol Photo: Xinhua

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol's latest remarks in which he accused China of not enforcing UN sanctions on North Korea, leaving South Korea with "no choice but to rely on the US' extended deterrence" are deemed to be groundless by Chinese analysts. They said that Yoon's remarks confuse right and wrong and his increasingly extreme pro-US foreign policy could destabilize the Korean Peninsula. 

Yoon made the remarks after making a surprise appearance at a luncheon for reporters in the Blue House in Seoul on Tuesday, in response to a reporter's inquiries on if he anticipated the degree of China's complaints about his agreement with US President Joe Biden last week to introduce new measures to strengthen the US extended deterrence, or Washington's commitment of mobilizing all of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend its ally, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported. 

"If they want to take issue with us and criticize us for adopting the Washington Declaration and upgrading our security cooperation to one that is nuclear-based, they should reduce the nuclear threat or at least abide by international law and stick to UN Security Council sanctions against the nuclear threat," he said. 

Yoon must have received certain level of assurance and encouragement from Biden during his US visit and such remarks, which are not at all surprising, should be viewed as reflecting Yoon's determination to please the US even at the cost of relations with China, Lü Chao, an expert on the Korean Peninsula issue at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Under the Washington Declaration Yoon adopted with US President Joe Biden, the two countries agreed to "share information on nuclear and strategic operations and planning," and regularly deploy US strategic assets to South Korea, to enhance the credibility of the US "extended deterrence." Extended deterrence refers to the US approach of mobilizing all of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to "defend" South Korea. 

Chinese analysts pointed out that Yoon's Tuesday remarks completely confused right and wrong over the matter and that Yoon was trying to find excuses to justify an upgraded South Korea-US alliance through the Washington Declaration. It was US-South Korea military drills, not China, that caused an escalation in regional tensions, analysts said. 

The so-called "extended deterrence" would only provoke Pyongyang to implement its principle of "might for might, frontal match," and North Korea could take strong actions in response, Lü said. 

South Korea, once it comes under the nuclear protection umbrella provided by the US, would only find itself further relying on the US, and serve as a US pawn in Washington's anti-China "Indo-Pacific" strategy, which runs counter to its own social and economic interests and even security, analysts warned. 

Yoon on Tuesday also said that as long as China does not act hostile to South Korea, the two sides can work out economic problems if there is respect for contracts and each other, Yonhap report said. 

Chinese analysts found Yoon's "wishful thinking" remarks utterly hypocritical, as his recent trampling on the Taiwan question and the South China Sea issue will likely cause negative impact on ties.

South Korea's exports fell for a seventh straight month in April for their longest losing streak in three years, driven by an extended slump in sales to China. A breakdown of the data showed exports to China, South Korea's top trading partner, tumbled 26.5 percent for their 11th consecutive month of decline, according to Reuters on Monday.