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Assembly’s Japan skeptics fume over Camp David summitBy Kim Arin
Published : Aug. 20, 2023 - 15:08
President Yoon Suk Yeol’s domestic political opponents have blasted the trilateral agreement reached at a summit at Camp David, saying it would deepen the country’s alignment with Japan.
The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea, which has traditionally taken a hard-line stance toward Tokyo, slammed the outcomes of the summit as a “de facto military alliance with Japan.”
The party’s chief spokesperson Rep. Kwon Chil-seung said over the weekend that the document outlining a commitment to consulting one another in the event of threats affecting any one of the countries “amounts to a de facto military alliance.”
“It’s questionable why we would need such military alliance with Japan when our alliance with the US is already strong,” he said.
He said it was questionable “what kind of benefits there could be for South Korea by getting Japan involved in the equation.”
“If the crisis facing our country is so urgent that we need to form a security community together with Japan, President Yoon has a duty to explain it to the people,” he said in a message to the South Korean leader.
Rep. Lee Jae-myung, the Democratic Party head who ran against Yoon in last year’s presidential election, said prior to the summit that the president was “feared to once again only hand out favors to Japan without receiving anything in return.”
“South Koreans will not stand by the president’s diplomacy of endless surrenders,” he said.
In complete contrast, the ruling People Power Party said the outcome of the summit at Camp David would “go down in history as the culmination of the Yoon administration’s dedication to bolster a coalition of the free world.”
“The leaders of the three countries met at Camp David and opened a new chapter by holding a first joint summit,” the ruling party’s chief spokesperson Rep. Kang Min-kuk said Sunday.
He said the agreement reached at the summit entailed multiple layers of cooperation -- from military and economic security to a range of other shared interests.
The “new level of cooperation” established among the three countries illustrates that “our security is intertwined,” he said.
He said that the boost in cooperation with the US and Japan, the country’s partners with common interests and shared values, was “the call of the times.”
“We must respond to the demands of the times to strengthen stability and peace in Northeast Asia by helping rebuild Ukraine and imposing more sanctions against Russia,” he said, adding that together with its allies, South Korea is “committed to opposing any attempts to usurp the status quo by force.”
Yoon touts improved Japan ties on Independence Movement Day
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Address by President Yoon Suk Yeol on the 105th March 1st Independence Movement Day