[THE INVESTOR] The Aug. 24 issue of The Investor‘s blockbuster newsletter DECODED X is out. Check out some of the highlights.
BALANCE OF TERROR
South Korea’s honeymoon with Pyongyang is over. In fact, there really never WAS a honeymoon to begin with, since Kim Jong-un never gave Seoul a chance. As the situation becomes more tenuous, more voices are calling for stronger nuclear rights for South Korea to avoid war.
A balance of terror is one of the most practical strategies to keep out of trouble. To attain this, a country needs to possess weapons or other defense programs on par with its enemies.
For Seoul, that would mean, at the least, maximizing its missile distance. A better option could be to arm itself with similar levels of nuclear weapons as Pyongyang. This would mean South Korea must be made an exception in the global non-nuclear proliferation pact. And why should Seoul not be, some experts ask.
Terrifying as it sounds, a balance of terror maybe the only remaining option for maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, they say.
THE RISE OF EUROPE
This mood here in Korea is that the days of US and South Korea being close allies are kind of over. Not that the two would ever negate on their relationship, and it’s not just the nature of their two leaders, although President Donald Trump does make it more difficult to love America.
A certain distance has been created with American companies and related organizations. And the gap is being filled with European firms and chambers.
Government initiatives have something to do with it too, such as the latest push to end nuclear energy. Countries in Europe with natural gas reserves and focused much more than America on renewable energies are coming forth to make other energy arrangements with Korea.
The power of America, and allied ties with it must never be downplayed, but diversifying global relations is not bad at all for a resource-less country like Korea.
On a side note, the new Trade Minister, who is one of the most powerful trade ministers to date, is rumored to be something of a nut.
He’s a Columbia-educated career bureaucrat who is, unlike most Korean civil servants, not scared of speaking his mind in front of anyone.
Recently, he told the US negotiators for the FTA that there can be no adjustments to the trade pact until analysis proves it’s detrimental for the US.
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