Following the election of Moon Jae In as South Korea’s new president, the dynamics between North and South Korea and South Korea and the United States have changed dramatically.
Moon wished to restore diplomatic relations with North Korea and to reduce tensions between the two countries. His first initiative is to build an economic cooperation with Kim Jong Un to help raise the living standards of North Koreans. This would help reduce military tensions from both sides as well as ultimately discouraging a feared nuclear attack from the North. The decrease in fear provides a safer environment on a military level for both the Koreas’ and reduces a risk of a violent outburst from either side.
American President Trump had a contrasting strategy to Moon’s: to put pressure on Kim Jong Un with economic sanctions and to deploy new missile defenses close to North Korea. His logic behind his strategy that continuing to increase pressure on North Korea will convince Kim Jong-Un to agree to “talk”. These contrasting strategies were initially concerning to the public; however the President Trump and President Moon have agreed to work together and to maintain a strong alliance.
Trump initially worried South Koreans following the former South Korean president Park Geun Hye. Not only did he oppose Moon’s approach towards North Korea, but he also claimed that he was planning to force South Korea to pay $1 billion for a missile-defense system that the United States had deployed. However, Moon reached out to Trump and requested a stronger diplomatic relationship between South Korea and the United States, to which Trump agreed. Afterwards Trump retracted his demand for the $1 billion. Trump later congratulated Moon on his win of the election and affirmed the friendship between their corresponding countries.
Moon also reached out to President Xi Jinping of China and wished to discuss the U.S. anti-missile system and the boycott of South Korean goods.
Moon was invited to Beijing, the United States, and has a pending offer on visiting Pyongyang, all to coordinate a future course of action between the countries.