It is inevitable that the PRC will continue to extend its influence over South Korea. Korea recognizes that China as a land-based identity has historically tried to form its sphere of influence and intervened in the Korean affairs. Despite the anti- Americanism in Korea, Seoul understands that there is a strong need for the U.S.-ROK alliance not only to deter the DPRK but also to ensure that the maritime power can counterbalance against Chinese intrusion in the Korean affairs. History shows that Korea has preferred to rely on an external power to counterbalance against a proximate power, and it would be a tough situation for the ROK to withstand the weight of the PRC alone. Seoul's security interest will dominate the cultural and economic aspects of relations with China. Therefore, Seoul has a vested interest in ensuring the pre-eminence of the United States. Seoul must send an unambiguous signal to Washington that it continues to desire the U.S.-ROK alliance while maintaining its economic relationship with Beijing. Beijing must recognize that the presence of U.S. forces is a historical and geopolitical necessity for South Korea.
Miller, Alice L.
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
Naval Postgraduate School
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.