The outcome of the 2020 presidential election, as of Thursday afternoon, remains uncertain, although vote counts continue in the outstanding states, which include Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina, and (depending on which news outlet you believe) Arizona.
Whether Donald Trump continues as president or he’s replaced by Joseph Biden, South Korea’s government says they’re prepared to work with the next administration.
The Blue House, the South Korean equivalent of the White House, issued a statement this week pledging to work with whoever win the U.S. election, and continue good relations between the two countries.
“We will closely communicate with any administration, in line with the tradition of cooperation between [the two countries.]”
The United States and South Korea have long been allies, although as with countries in most of the world, things between them changed a lot during President Trump’s first term, mostly with Washington’s attempted diplomatic opening to North Korea. That move drew fire from many in South Korea at the time.
The president, whoever it is, will need to deal with the North Korean nuclear issue, as well as other weapons systems being developed, and in some cases showcased, by the Kim regime.
The issue of the Koreas is not one that came up often during the presidential campaign, but it did get discussed in the second presidential debate, one of the few foreign policy subjects that was raised in either debate.
After moderator Kristen Welker raised the question, North Korea was discussed for over two minutes.
After taking credit for avoiding a war, the president stated that “I have a very good relationship with [Kim Jong-un.] Different kind of guy, but probably thinks the same thing about me. We have a different kind of a relationship. We have a very good relationship, and there’s no war.”
Former Vice President Biden struck back.
“What has [Trump] done? He legitimized North Korea. He’s talked about his good buddy who’s a thug. A thug. And he talks about how we’re better off. And they have much more capable missiles, able to reach U.S. territory much more easily than [they] ever did before,” Biden said.
In a later campaign appearance on behalf of Biden in late October, former President Barack Obama also talked about North Korea.
“Our current president, he whines that ‘60 Minutes’ is too tough. You think he’s going to stand up to dictators? He thinks Lesley Stahl’s a bully. Just yesterday, he said that Putin of Russia, Xi of China, and Kim Jong Un of North Korea want him to win,” the ex-president said in Philadelphia. “We know! We know because you’ve been giving them whatever they want for the last four years! Of course they want you to win.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.