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US-Japan-ROK drills aim to fix alliance weakness

(People's Daily Online)

16:30, June 26, 2012

Recently, the temporary tranquility in the Korean Peninsula was once again interrupted by the uproar of a series of military exercises. From June 21 to 22, the navy of the United States, Japan, and South Korea jointly held military exercises in waters to the south of the Korean Peninsula. From June 23 to 25, the United States and South Korea met again for military exercises in the Yellow Sea. Of these, the military exercise of the three countries is the first successful "matchmaking" by the United States for the joint participation of its two allies.

The United States has troops stationed in both Japan and South Korea, which are two big military allies of the United States in Northeast Asia. However, the military relations between Japan and South Korea had been quite "cold", mainly because of the anti-Japanese public opinion in South Korea. Since South Korea had been subjected to long-term Japanese colonial rule, added by the island territorial disputes between the two, the South Korean people have a strong distrust of Japan and are especially wary of the Japanese military.

But then the United States wishes to "reconfigure the Asia-Pacific layout" and borrow as much "leverage" as possible from its allies. The United States and Japan were always trying to hook in South Korea to compensate for the "short board" of Japan-South Korea military alliance and establish a military "iron triangle". Meanwhile, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has become tense again since a series of conflicts including the "Cheonan Warship" incident in March 2010.

Gong Keyu, researcher at Shanghai Institute of International Studies said that in the new round of tensions on the peninsula after North Korea launched a satellite in April this year, the South Korean government has the idea to make a tough response to such "provocation." The United States takes such opportunity to once again promote their "equilateral triangular" cooperation, resulting in the "unprecedented" military exercise.

It should be noted that each of the three countries has its own intention despite standing on the same military exercise "stage". At the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, the United States ends the war on terrorism and starts to devote more resources toward the Asia-Pacific region, represents a significant variable in international relations in the region. Under the residual influence of the economic crisis and due to the lack of strength, the United States has adopted the "United States plus X" mode by gathering Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines and other allies through strategic dialogue, military exercises and a variety of ways so as to establish an intersectional, multi-level, new type of military alliance and maintain hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region.

In regard of the recent series of military exercises, the United States stresses that the North Korean military forces threaten regional stability and seems to regard North Korea as the "imaginary enemy." But the discerning can easily see that mere North Korean would not be worthy for the two major military powers to shovel. To a certain extent, their actual "ulterior" intention is to curb the other regional powers. However, South Korea's participation in the military exercises still mainly aims to take advantage of the power of the United States and Japan to guard against and deter North Korea. After reluctantly tying itself to the U.S.-Japan "chariot", whether South Korea can get off easily is quite another question.

Source: Jiefang Daily, Author: Wang Shaoji


Leave your comment3 comments

  1. Name

Jason W. Smith, Ph.D. at 2012-06-3068.97.0.*
What these "exercises" expose is the fatal condition of US imperialism in the Pacific. Compare the spread of US bases encircling China today in 2012 with the power the US ruling class arrayed against China in 1950 and one can see that the end of the Old Order is not only at hand but that it is now only a matter of time until the US imperialists go the way of the Japanese and UK imperialists of old.
PD User at 2012-06-27174.53.217.*
yes south korean and Japan are tied to US chariot and will not be able to get off easily. The only means to get off the chariot is by strenthening the ASEAN alliances and shove off foreign powers. And also get foreign powers to withdraw their troops from japan and south korean. The latter is the only possible way to get off the chariot. Otherwise there will be repercussions for being on the chariot.
Sam Teng at 2012-06-26175.136.52.*
The Asia Pacific region had enjoyed a long period of stability, tranquility, peace and harmony when the US was busy actively involved in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. After the US begun to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan and Iraq and began to shift its focus, the Asia Pacific region is not the same anymore. With the shift of US focus to the Asia Pacific region, Smaller countries like Philippines & Vietnam, which had simultaneous claims with bigger nations like China, had became bolder and took unilateral actions to make their claims. The US, Japan and Korea had initiated numerous military exercises in the region as though their countries are "imminent to be attacked by a third country."The big farce is all these happenings are creating a lot of tension in the region; all by their own doings. It is natural for the DPRK to perceive these joint military drills as a confrontation and a threat to its country. The only solution for peace and harmony in the region as in the past is for US to mind their own business and stay out of the region.

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