Is the US-South Korea alliance at a crossroads?

What I did say was the US world order is based on the principle of rule of law. By that I mean States at the international level have certain norms and boundaries that all (generally) abide by. Example: might does not make right AKA just because you have a bigger military than your neighbor doesn't mean you can invade and take everything they have.

I understand but that was the brief "post Cold War order" that the U. S broke themselves with the 2003 war and some might even point the Kosovo crisis

But by that time South Korea was already industrialized and China was opening itself

Before the 90s we can hardly say that the rule of law did prevail maybe in the U.S sphere of influence but the Iran-Irak war and the Isralian-Palestinian conflict hardly show that it was the case

In regards to South Korea not wishing to be under Japanese rule your second point does an equally effective job as your first. Looking past your cherry picking one person who grew up in SK under Japanese rule and ended up being successful, you're point not only contributes all of his personal success to the fact imperial Japan taught him how to read, you then seem to imply writ large that the Japanese occupation of Korea was a good thing?

I did not claim that under the rule of Imperial Japan South Korea was burned to the ground and nothing good ever happened. What I did allude to was that South Korea does not remember its time under Imperial Japanese fondly. Whether it be Imperial Japan's labor practices (see comfort women for those unfamiliar), how Imperial Japan viewed Koreans (as lesser humans), or the economic exploitation the occurred as the war dragged on, South Korea does not nostalgically look back on that time.

Hide Izumi has given a decent and quick summation of Japanese efforts to modernize the Korean colony. In short, the Korean peninsula under Japanese rule was treated as a mini-Japan of sorts. The Japanese government in Korea established railroads, public education, central banking, manufacturing, widespread electricity, western thoughts and ideologies, etc. The Japanese even established a Korean middle class. An excerpt from a book on modern Korean history, Korea's Place in the Sun by American historian Bruce Cumings.

As Korean growth rates took off in the 1930s, a small urban middle class began going to the movies, listening to the radio, buying cosmetics, and dressing in the latest fashions.

After WWII, a series of Korea-Japan talks occurred and what resulted, was the normalization of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Japan. (Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea) As a part of this, Korea demanded, and Japan agreed to give reparations for damages done by the colonial rule. This series of grants and loans by the postwar Japanese government helped spur Korea's economic growth and industry, by like, a lot. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia page,

The South Korean government demanded a total of 364 million dollars in compensation for the 1.03 million Koreans conscripted into the workforce and the military during the colonial period, at a rate of 200 dollars per survivor, 1,650 dollars per death and 2,000 dollars per injured person. South Korea agreed to demand no further compensation, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910–45 colonial rule in the treaty. However, the South Korean government used most of the grants for economic development, failing to provide adequate compensation to victims by paying only 300,000 won per death in compensating victims of forced labor between 1975 and 1977. Instead, the government spent most of the money establishing social infrastructures, founding POSCO, building Gyeongbu Expressway and the Soyang Dam with the technology transfer from Japanese companies. This investment was named Miracle on the Han River in South Korea.

The postwar Korean economy also displays a strong Japanese influence in another way. The very fact that the Korean economy is pretty much organized like the Japanese economy, shows the postwar Koreans admired the Japanese economic system so much they implemented it themselves. State sponsored grants to huge conglomerates called Chaebol (Based on the Zaibatsu from Japan), to industries like, home electronics, automobiles, shipbuilding, etc, are some in the long list of traditionally Japanese-associated economic strategies and industries employed by South Korea.

So as you can see, Japan's influence in the modernization of South Korea is strongly evident, and has been going on for almost a century. From the indirect loans, to directly building the railroads it is definitely there. In the modern day, due to the politically charged nature of the history of the Japanese Occupation era, many Koreans will deny any of this stuff even happened or exists

/r/geopolitics Thread Parent Link -